So last week I was struggling with Bell to get my phone unlocked. Eventually, after three phone calls with their customer service department, escalating to a Supervisor, and $84 later, I was finally able to unlock my phone. As I was now planning on switching phone providers, I researched my options, settled on a company that had fair pricing plans, a deal going on, and most importantly – no contracts. I got my new cell phone provider to port my phone number over, and I thought the whole ordeal was over.
I received an email from Bell shortly after I ported my number out. Even though I had called them back on February 23rd, I now received an email saying that they would be canceling my service as of April 11th. I’m not great at math, but that is definitely past March 25th – the date I had previously agreed to disconnect my services with Bell. So I get the great pleasure of calling Bell again.
Last time I called into Bell, I just wanted more information. I wasn’t looking for a huge credit or to try to change how they approach unlocking phones – I just wanted a reason why they were making me wait an arbitrary amount of time and pay an arbitrary number of dollars. This time, I went into the phone call looking for a credit. I have heard from reading guides in the past some particular strategies for dealing with this type of conversation. The keys to dealing with customer service were to be clear, firm and persistent, but remain as calm as possible.
Be Clear About What You Want
I was very, very clear with all the reps I spoke to what the problem was, and what an acceptable resolution would be. I made it clear that the problem was on Bell’s side, that I had already provided my 30 days notice, and that they were incorrectly charging me for services they would not be providing me despite me being a good consumer and giving them advance notice. I was also very clear that the resolution I was looking for was to be credited for the length of time between when I had originally agreed (March 25) and when they decided to bump my contract back to (April 11th).
Firm and Persistent
I spent about an hour on the phone with Bell. Of that time, I would say that an easy 40 minutes were spent on hold. I was first placed on hold waiting for the first front line rep. I was then placed on hold while we waited for their supervisor. I was then placed on hold once more time while that supervisor waited to talk with their management. Each time was around 15 minutes of hold music. Numerous times I was tempted to hang up, but I stuck by it and eventually it paid off. I was also firm when speaking with all of the reps. I even used the phrase, “I’m going to make this easy for you. This is exactly what I want, and then I’ll go away”. I didn’t ask for the moon, and I didn’t make the reps guess as to what I was looking for. I was adamant as to what I was looking for to resolve the problem.
I work in customer service. I know how difficult it can be to deal with escalated customers that want to spend their time shouting at you. I know that raising my voice would not solve the issue and would most likely just make things worse. That being said, I was so frustrated by the situation that I found it very difficult to remain calm.I think because I work in customer service, I know good customer service. I watch people take care of customers all day long, and I know to what lengths we would be able to assist our customers. Being treated with such disdain, however, almost made me lose my cool. Remaining calm is most important as anger and raised voices can dissuade the people you are speaking with from helping you. Staying calm projects confidence in the words that you are saying, meaning that you are more likely to get the resolution that you’re looking for. It is easy to dismiss crazy people.
What strategies do you use to chat with call center agents?