5 Reasons Why You Can’t Solve Your Customer Issues and How to Solve Them

Most of the times, people have genuine issues concerning the product they purchased and when they do encounter issues, they have no idea where to start and whom to contact. If you intend to solve your issues as quickly as possible, there are things that you must know and do before you call an agent. You have to prepare yourself with strategies of approaching customer support, and you might need to provide some details as well as some transaction documents depending on the company that you are dealing with.

why you cant solve your customer issues

Your goal is to make it easy for support staff to help you and solve your problem quickly. Of course, the support team is there to help you but how quickly they help you also depends on your willingness to cooperate and provide them with enough information. Most of the times, customer issues are caused by ineffective communication between the parties. There are assumptions, emotions and lack of understanding as well as the inability to listen. If you need quick solutions to your queries, and you can’t seem to get anywhere, here are 5 probable causes that might be hindering you from getting a breakthrough and how to prevent them. In each case, you will find helpful consumer tips:

You Don’t Know the Number

Most of us don’t care about the after-sales support number until we need it badly. When you buy a product from a shop, make sure that you obtain their number as well. The customer care number is often printed on the product label as well as the receipt. You might find it on the invoice and if you don’t, try to check the contact details on the company’s website or front door billboard. If you have access to the internet on your mobile phone or laptop, look up the number on Google Search or you can browse a local online directory.

You Don’t Know the Right Number

You might think you have found the right number but it may turn out to be useless. In order to find the right phone number, you will need to call the Enquiries Desk to ask for the relevant department that can deal with your issue. Big organizations have many specialized departments so it might take you a few more forwarded calls to reach the right person. Don’t despair, but office personnel is often nice and they will be willing to help you with any customer issues.

If you have no luck with the Enquiries Desk, then you must go to the internet to search the relevant department, for example if you just bought a computer from a department store, search for the company’s electronics department e.g. Walmart Electronics Customer Support. This will be a good starting point to begin your search and keep in mind that in the Electronics Dpt, you might come across various sub-departments before you reach the right person.

You Lost Your Receipts

There is a reason why your parents taught you to keep your school receipts at all times. If you have the habit of losing your receipts or throwing them away the moment you get out of the shop, then you will cause yourself a lot of problems when you are required to show proof of purchase. Sometimes, customer support staff needs to see your receipt to get some file numbers and codes that will help them track your purchase and act accordingly. Always keep your receipts in a safe drawer, so that you can access them when you need to. There are a lot of disorganized fellows out there, but there are also some smart people who can keep some transaction records running 10 years back. It’s important to keep transaction records of items that you have in your possession, who knows, you might need them one day.

Your Warranty is Expired

Along with a receipt, you must also keep your warranty at your fingertips. Most people forget about their product warranties as soon as they step out of the shop. You should check your warranty after you have purchased an item. Let’s say you bought some sunglasses from a brand shop and you only start wearing them 30 days later. You realize that there is something wrong with the glasses, but when you go to the shop to get them replaced, they tell you that your warranty has expired so they can’t refund your money. Things like sunglasses have a short warranty in the region of 14 days. Make sure that you unbox the item and use it as soon as possible to test for defects and other issues before the warranty expires. If you approach the shop before the expiry date, they will gladly find a solution for you.

You Bought From an Unregistered Shop

Sometimes, customer issues are caused by dealing with an unlicensed company. Companies that are registered with a Trade Association or Licensing Institution offer protection to consumers. Such companies are required to disclose their registered physical address as well as other details like telephone number, registration number and tax number. Of course there are a lot of legitimate businesses that operate online and which don’t have an offline office, but if you deal with such companies you are doing it at your own risk. Before you buy anything online or from a mobile shop, make sure that there is a way to track them if you have any post-transaction issues. If they are registered with a Trade or Licensing Association, you will be able to contact the body to get more details about them.

4 Sites to Get Contact Help For Frustrated Customers and Consumers

Sometimes it can be a pain to get contact help from a company that you are dealing with. There are a lot of reasons why you won’t be able to solve your customer issue, ranging from unreachable lines to being unable to find the right person to talk to. Most of the times, after you have bought a product or service from a business, you are simply too excited to think about after-sale support. All you want is to unpack the item and enjoy it in the comfort of your home. Of course, most of us assume that any product from a brand name should be ‘perfect’ because we trust that brand. So we are not really expecting any issues when we start using the product.

Besides, many a product comes with a warranty and refund policy so this should give you some comfort and peace of mind if you buy from a reputable product manufacturer. However, even though you have these guarantees, it is quite common for many people to start using the product after the warranty has expired, and that’s the time when issues arise. In this case, the first thought for many people is to find the manufacturer’s phone number so that they call customer support. That’s when more problems and frustrations begin. You have no idea where to find the number so you look at the product label and search on the internet to no avail.

Before you give up and sale off your defective product, you must try one last time to find contact help. Fortunately, there are dedicated agents out there that can help solve your customer issue. These agents can help you find the right number to talk to the right person or if your problem is complicated they can locate and speak to the company on your behalf. In order to solve your issue quickly and effectively, you have to explain why you want to call the company. They will take care of the rest, sometimes at a price to buy a lunch pack or cup of coffee.

www.gethuman.com
           www.gethuman.com

GetHuman

GetHuman is a website that claims to solve customer service issues. They don’t only provide resources to find contact details for a variety of companies and businesses, but they also offer to call the companies on your behalf. You can hire them to solve any problems that you have with a service provider, manufacturer or product retailer. However, their customer agent-for-hire service is not free; they will ask you to pay a free, about $20 to solve your issues. What this means is that if you have an issue with a service or product, you can save time and leave it to the experts to do it for you. Customer issues can be frustrating and you will find that the money you spend to call a company for days can quickly add up and at the end of the day your issue might not be solved at all.

Sometimes if you are too busy to call a company, then that is the occasion to hire a third party to do it for you. In other instances, you want to solve an issue as quickly as possible. In such urgent situations, it is smart to hire an agent who knows the right numbers and the right people to talk to.

Alexa Ranking – 15,172

www.800-numbers.net
                   www.800-numbers.net

800-Numbers

800-Numbers is an online directory that offers assistance to people who want to use a toll-free number to call a company. If you are a customer, then it makes sense that the support you get from a service / product provider is free of charge, otherwise that company is not going to retain its clients. If you have the privilege of staying in the USA or Canada, then you will have access to a toll-free number for a wide range of companies that you are dealing with. A toll-free number is also known as a 1-800 number for those who are familiar with the service. The website does not charge a fee for giving you access to its database of companies. If you are unable to find a customer support line for a specific business, then you should simply search the name of the company in the database, and hopefully you will get a functional phone number that allows you to make calls without getting charged.

Alexa Ranking – 150,700

www.consumeraffairs.com
                   www.consumeraffairs.com

ConsumerAffairs

ConsumerAffairs is an online consumer support site that provides reviews and a lot of useful details about businesses in the United States. The reviews are user-generated meaning that consumers with issues can leave feedback on the site for other users to see. Just like any consumer platform, people can file complaints or positive reviews about a company they dealt with. Public feedback helps to protect customers from being unfairly dealt with by companies, and it is a measure of the brand attractiveness. Even Facebook Pages for businesses have a feedback system that allows fans to rate the service received from the company.

ConsumerAffairs does not only relies on public feedback` to produce useful reviews but they also have experts who carry out research on businesses and their services. The platform is not a one-sided affair where only customers leave feedback, but companies are allowed to respond to customer complaints. A lot of companies ranging from Alarm Systems to Walk-in Bathtubs providers are registered with ConsumerAffairs and they have a chance to build up their brand on their site. Customer issues can be solved privately or directly on the site. It’s a useful platform to get customer support. Just search a company and you will get their listing.

Alexa Ranking – 6,567

www.contacthelp.com
             www.contacthelp.com

ContactHelp

ContactHelp.com is a customer support crowdsourcing website. If you have ever used a community site like Groupon or RetailMeNot where consumers post coupons to help other like-minded moms who are looking for a bargain, then ContactHelp is based on a similar model, but instead of offering coupons, people on the site post updated contact details for particular companies that they dealt with. This helps a lot because the task of updating information is left to consumers who actually had experience in contacting a service provider, so the contact info that is posted on the site is accurate at the time.

Platforms which are updated by site admin take a long time to update information because there are a lot of companies to go through, but Contact Help is not one of them. If you are looking for fresh information, then this is the site to go to.

Alexa Ranking – 157,899

4 Ways to Contact a Company Offline Effectively Using Traditional Methods

 

4 Ways to Contact a Company Offline Effectively Using Traditional Methods_Customer Service

When you have exhausted all channels to contact a company online, then you should try to contact them using traditional methods. A lot of companies will not take you seriously if you can’t pick up the phone or pitch up at their office. Modern methods of contact such as email, live chat and Skype are convenient for most people who grew up in the digital age but there are companies out there that put more value on traditional interactions. Here are 4 ways to contact a company using traditional methods:

Pick Up the Telephone

Telephone is an effective method of getting the attention of customer support. If you have the support number, then call them directly from your mobile phone or landline. If you don’t have the number, take a look on their website. Depending on where you stay, the line might be a toll-free number or 1-800 number. Most companies will offer a toll-free number that is dedicated to customer support and potential leads. A toll-free number is ideal because it encourages a client to call the company without incurring any call charges. A toll-free number will not work if you are outside the toll-free zone, for example if you stay in Japan or Australia, and you are dealing with a US-based firm, you will not be able to benefit from free calls. In this case, when you call a US firm from Australia, your calls will be charged by the Telecoms Company at international rates. That’s why it’s much better to deal with a local company.

How to Find a Telephone Number

Sometimes it’s tough find a phone number of a company that you want to contact. If you can’t find it on the company’s online properties, then you should check a Local Telephone Directory. In most developed countries, A Local Phone Directory can be found online. Just do a Google SEARCH and you might find a free directory that doesn’t require you to pay a fee. You shouldn’t pay to access an online directory unless you have exhausted all free directories.

Besides the internet, you can find a Phone Number Directory at a local post office or Telecom shop. Depending on where you stay, a Telecom company usually prints volumes of directories each year. These directories are very detailed and thick, with hundreds of pages listing contact details of local businesses and residents. An annual directory is distributed freely to consumers but some companies may charge for it. In order to avoid paying for a phone directory, you must look for directories issued by government companies (parastatals) and local authorities such as Town Councils.

 

Find the Fax Number

Sending fax to a company may look like an old-fashioned thing but a fax can get the attention of the Administration much better than email or telephone. Since most people will not think of sending fax, when a company does receive fax, they will treat it like a VIP message. When a secretary or office desk assistant gets a fax, the first thought is to show it to the Manager. Fax has a powerful effect, there is something special about it, and its every effective in relaying a sense of emergency. To find a Fax Number, you must browse through a local telephone directory.

Visit the Office

Visiting the office should be a last option, but if it’s a local company that you are dealing with, making an appointment with the Support Manager is a responsible thing to do. However, you won’t be able to visit the office if it’s overseas, so you should remove this idea from your options. Before visiting the office, you must call the receptionist to make an appointment because the Support Manager (Administrator) might be away on holiday or attending a business meeting .Besides, it’s a professional thing to make an appointment rather than pitching up at the office without notice. If you really feel like going to the office today to solve the matter, then you should go there under the pretense of making an appointment. The receptionist will give you a date, but of course you should tell her that it’s urgent. Receptionists and secretaries are very good at convincing their bosses, so never underestimate them or disrespect them.

Talk To a Friend Who Works at the Company

A lot of companies are anything but too eager to listen to concerns and recommendations from insiders who work for them. This is how a lot of people find jobs, an employee who works at company XYZ will recommend a friend to her boss. Most Managers will be happy to know that one of their employees is a friend of the company’s client, and they will be willing to listen to the client because of that. The Support Manager may discuss the matter with the employee or invite the friend to the office. The matter is usually fixed as soon as possible because of the employee’s involvement. So friends can really help you when all else has failed.

 

 

 

 

Online Customer Support Tools That You Can Use To Contact a Company

Online Customer Support Tools That You Can Use To Contact a Company

Have you ever tried to get in contact with a company after you have purchased a product from them? Calling a landline or mobile phone number can be costly and if you want to keep your telephone bill down at the end of the month, then you should consider other tools for contacting a company’s support staff. Online contact tools are cheap and convenient for most people who are internet savvy.

When you have a 24/7 internet connection, you can get in touch with a local or overseas business without incurring extra costs related to the time you spent talking to the person. A phone charges you for every minute you spend talking to someone and if you sit down to analyze the costs, you will realize that the money you spent to call and speak with somebody for 15 minutes is enough to buy you up to 30 days of unlimited internet. Of course this depends on your data plan, but for communication purposes, internet is generally cheaper than telephone in any corner of the globe.

If you urgently need to contact the customer service department of a company, here is what you must do:

First, go to their website and look at their Contact Us page. If you can’t see this page on the top or side menu, then you must check the footer. A lot of companies which understand the value of reaching out to their clients have a dedicated customer support system which can be easily seen on the website. It is usually depicted by a telephone sign or chat icon. Click the icon to access the contact tools and details. Depending on the company that you are dealing with, you may find the following methods to contact a company online:

Live Chat

A live chat is a real-time messenger application that allows you to chat with a virtual assistant in any part of the world. If you are in the United States, you can chat with somebody in Japan, UK or South Africa as long as you have an internet connection. Live Chat works well on desktop computers and laptops. The advantages of live chat are that you are able to chat with somebody on the spot at that particular moment. You can see the person typing their words, so that you can reply instantaneously. If the person is online you will be notified by a green icon and if they are offline you will see a red icon.

Live chat allows you to have quick replies to your queries. It is especially good for impatient customers and fast personalities who cannot wait a minute for answers.

Online Private Messenger

An online private messenger allows a customer to send queries so that a virtual assistant can attend to them. Depending on how frequently support staff checks their inbox, the queries can be attended to sooner or later. If a company does not have 24/7 support staff to attend to queries, the customer can simply send messages via an online messenger that is installed on the website.

Contact Form

Most company websites have a contact form that collects information from visitors. To find the contact form, check the Contact Us page. You will find a form with input fields for your name, email address and description. Drop-down filters which help you define your problem and select the relevant department are also found on some contact forms. Your queries are submitted via a server to an email address owned by the company.

Email Address

This is the most common and oldest way of sending a message online. Copy the email address on the support page and send them an email.

What is the Acceptable Time to Get a Response?

Whether you are using an online messaging system, contact form or email address, a lot of professional companies will reply you within 24 to 48 hours.72 hours is the latest acceptable time for a customer to get a response, anything later than that raises questions about the company’s commitment to quick customer service.

Facebook Page

A lot of companies and businesses have a Facebook Page to interact with fans on social media. Besides interacting with fans, some companies are also using Pages offer customer support .If you can’t get hold of a company using methods outlined above, you should try to look for the company’s Facebook Page. You must have a Facebook Account in order join a Page. Creating a Facebook account is easy, you only need an email address or mobile phone number to create a Facebook Profile. Once you create an account, sign in and search your company in Facebook’s native search bar. Like the Page and message the admin or you can simply post a status on the Page Timelime.Active FB Pages are moderated by Administrators who will quickly reply you within 24 hours to give the Page a high response rating. If you want to keep your queries private and confidential, then you must message the Admin instead of posting a public status.

Whatsapp

Whatsapp is another method of customer contact that is increasingly being used by certain companies. In fact, there are countries where Whatsapp is the messenger of choice. Small businesses in Asian countries like China and India prefer to use a popular chat messenger like Whatsapp to offer customer support. If your service provider is using Whatsapp, you will see a Whatsapp icon or number on their website.

Skype

Skype is a desktop messenger that is installed on your PC or laptop. It is one of the most common methods used by businesses to get in touch with clients. Skype has been in existence longer than most chat messengers and it has an extremely large user base worldwide. Check a company’s website to see if they are offering Skype support.

 

Customer Service: 5 Things That Can Hurt a Company and Turn Away Clients

Customer Service 5 Things That Can Hurt a Company

What is Customer Service?

Customer service is an essential component of any company or business that cares about its clients, customers, partners and affiliates. It involves putting in place tools that allow a customer to submit queries, leave feedback and receive timely responses to queries.

Besides putting customer care tools like a help desk or shop assistant, a company must act sincerely and attend to queries submitted by customers. They have to find a genuine solution to problems and respond quickly for that matter. Most of the times, a customer will be satisfied if an organization acts urgently on their queries, as it shows that they are an important part of the business.

Business Managers must not just create a customer care section or hire support staff to attend to customers but they must make sure that it offers a good experience to people. They must make sure that it functions effectively and efficiently and that it serves its purpose well. Tools for managing customers are appreciated by most people but if support staff is not well-trained to handle customers, the company will get a reputation for poor customer service.

It’s not only poorly trained staff that gives low ratings for your company, but there are many other factors involved. Here is a list of things that will affect your customer service negatively:

Poorly Trained Support Staff

Many people have encountered one or two members of support staff who were either rude, cold, harsh or arrogant. They lack people skills to deal with impatient and difficult customers. Most of these customer assistants were hired hurriedly without a thorough interview process. The company might have been too busy to spend much time on a small task such as interviewing a help desk assistant or they needed to fill that position urgently. You have to realize that support staff deals with customers and any delay in attending to them can affect potential sales, which in turn affects the company’s revenue at the end of the month. A company might hire a customer assistant but if he or she is poorly trained, the company will fail to attract and retain its customers.

Slow Response Times

A lot of businessmen like the phrase “Time is Money” but ironically some of them have no idea how this principle applies to their customer service department. This is a typical company that takes customers for granted, taking a long time to respond to queries or never responding at all. Surely if you think Time is Money, then you would act quickly in attending to customers because any delay or non-action will cost you a sale. We all know this type of company, once a customer pays and checks out, they go to sleep or pretend that your purchase never made a difference to their bank account. They assume that after all, you are the one who needs them. They don’t know need you, they have many customers, so they think.

No Refund Policy

Some companies are policy freaks who like quoting their Terms and Conditions in the face of complex customer situations. They are unable to use their imagination and reasoning capabilities when confronted by customers, preferring to hide behind their Terms of Service. There are situations where a refund is applicable if a product is defective, deceptively advertised or incorrectly described. In all cases, if it’s the manufacturer’s fault, then they are required to refund the customer regardless of their company policy. If you are selling non-digital items, it is only smart and proper to have a Refund Policy. Most legitimate companies have a refund policy and warranties that are effective for a limited time period from the date of sale. Within that period, you have to report any defects and malfunctions in order to get your refund. A time limited refund is better than none at all. Most customers will appreciate a refund and because of this they will rate your customer service positively.

Lack of Negotiation Skills

A skilled salesperson knows how to negotiate a deal and convince a buyer. It is not smart for an organization to hire zombie support staff whose job is to give canned responses to customers. Although canned responses are suitable for general and frequently asked questions, people can tell the difference between a canned and human response. Most customers have been in a situation where they are given pre-written responses which don’t address their unique problem. They are made to go around in loops being referred from one person to another and left with the impression that support staff is either confused, incompetent or unwilling to help. This situation can put a dent on the image of the company, especially their customer service.

In order to avoid this, a company must hire skilled customer care professionals who can to listen to individual demands and offer solutions to complex queries and problems. This is where negotiation skills are required. Alternatives are offered and compromises are made with the customer. When a customer feels that what they paid for isn’t worth the price, a skilled sales assistant should come up with an alternative that reduces the client’s perceived loss. Refunds can be made, replacements can be offered, incentives can be given, bonuses can be added, big discounts can be applied and payment plans can be changed to make the customer happy.

Unreachable Support Lines

Some companies claim to be open during business hours, but when you try to call their help desk, no-one picks up the phone. The help desk is unmanned for hours and you wonder if they are serious with their business or not. If a company offers 24/7 support on their website, then they should do that. One of the most frustrating things that can turn away a customer is a support line that is always busy. It feels like you are the only one that never gets a chance to speak to support staff.