Tired of waiting for customer support? Try these tips!

From the Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia:

Calling customer service is often a frustrating experience. You are put on hold several times only to find that no one can help you solve your problem. Plus, with several customer service scams, even getting in touch with customer support can be a challenge.

Whether you need to cancel a subscription service, find out about unexpected charges, or get help with a technical issue, the following tips can help you improve your customer service.

Need help with customer service? Follow these tips:

  • Think about customer service BEFORE doing business with a company. Evaluating a company’s customer service before doing business with them can save you a lot of headaches. If a business lacks contact information for customer service, that’s an immediate red flag. Even though they have customer service information, read customer reviews to see if they are easy to reach, friendly, and willing to help.
  • Prepare before you call, email or chat. Before contacting customer service, do a little research on your problem. Visit the company’s official website (check the URL to make sure you’re not on a fake website) and look for an FAQ or troubleshooting page. You might find the answer to your question and you won’t need to contact the company at all. Even if you can’t find your solution, take notes on what you searched for so you can let the customer service representative know what you’ve already tried to fix the problem.
  • Make sure you have the correct number. Before calling customer service, make sure you have the official number. Fake tech support number scams have claimed many victims. A quick search online might turn up a fake customer support number, so be sure to visit the official website of the company you’re trying to contact to confirm the customer service phone number.
  • Have your information at your fingertips. Have all the account details you need ready, including order numbers, account numbers, and any other relevant details.
  • Be careful with your personal information. According to a study, 56% of customers agree to share their personal information in exchange for better service. You may need to share some information with your customer service representative. But whether you’re emailing, chatting, or calling, be sure to communicate with the official source. If the customer service rep starts asking for unrelated or a little too personal information, don’t rush to share it. Instead, ask yourself why they need it. If they can’t give you a reason or angrily answer your questions, you’re probably dealing with a scammer.
  • Call when wait times are shorter. According to Talkdesk, early mornings and Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to call customer service. They found that customer service is 7% faster on these days than on other days of the week.
  • To take notes. Ask for a ticket or reference number when talking to customer service. This can help speed things up if your issue isn’t resolved immediately and you need to call back. Get the name of the agent you’re speaking with too if you can. Speaking with the same representative can also speed up the process and help with continuity when you need help with an issue. Write down any other details or promises you might need later.
  • Climb, if you must. The first person you talk to may have limited power to help you, depending on the problem. If you’ve tried everything and your problem isn’t resolved, ask if you can speak to a manager or supervisor, or if there’s someone else who can help you.
  • Always be polite. Even if you need to speak to a manager, always treat customer service representatives with respect and kindness. You are much more likely to solve your problem this way.
  • Beware if customer service contacts you out of the blue. Legit companies don’t make unsolicited phone calls. Scammers do. Scammers may also send you unsolicited emails or create pop-ups stating that you should contact customer support immediately. These are a few telltale signs of a tech support scam.
  • Offer feedback. If a customer service agent provided you with exceptional service, leave a good review for the company. Conversely, if you had a bad experience and especially if you suspect shady business practices, file a complaint on BBB.org or with the Federal Trade Commission.

For more information

Learn more about spotting customer service scams and how to avoid tech support inconveniences. Continue to do business with companies that adhere to BBB Accreditation Standards and BBB Standards for Trust.

If you spot a scam by contacting customer service, report it to BBB.org/ScamTracker.

About the BBB serving Central Virginia:
BBB serving Central Virginia serves Richmond, the Tri-Cities, Charlottesville and Fredericksburg, as well as 42 surrounding counties from Fauquier to Mecklenburg and Northumberland to Amherst. The non-profit organization was established in 1954 to promote responsible, honest and ethical business practices and to promote customer confidence through corporate self-regulation. BBB’s core services include business profiles, dispute resolution, truthful advertising, scam warnings, consumer and business education, and charity review.

Joseph P. Harris