Phoning a call center ranks low a list of desirable contacts. Customers dread the waiting times, the misunderstandings, and endless transfers – especially if they are calling about a warranty or want try to replace a damaged object. If you have to make a call center call to discus a warranty and hopefully get some money back, use these steps:
1. Do Your Homework First:
Find your warranty. Dig it out of a cupboard or look it up online and read it carefully. Know exactly what the warranty promises, how long it lasts, and all the actions that may void it. This is excellent preparation for your call, and will help you clearly communicate your desires and understand the responses. Always remember, a call center cannot change the warranty – voided or outdated warranties cannot be magically altered, no matter how much you beg.
2. Set Aside Plenty of Time:
Many people try phoning a call center on their lunch break, in the car in traffic, or while they are waiting in a line. This is unadvisable – it is very difficult to predict how much time the call will take, and you need all your attention focused on the phone conversation and your at-hand warranty information. Pick a time when you can sit down in the quiet and focus on the call for as long as it needs to take. Otherwise frustration and misunderstanding will occur.
3. Understand the Return or Refund Policy:
In addition to understanding the ins and outs of the warranty, know what you can and cannot get in return for your damaged product. Typically, call centers cannot just send you a brand new product as the result of a single phone call. They may be willing to reimburse you or mail you a gift card for the amount the product cost. Knowing the return or refund policies of the company will keep you from disappoint and help you reach a solution more quickly.
4. Separate Store and Call Center Contacts:
Call centers are not associated with brand stores. They do not know what people inside the store said, promised, or allowed. They do not know what products were on sale there or who the manager was that you talked to. Store contacts and call center contacts are entirely separate. If you are pursuing a return at the store, call the store, not a call center. If you have to call someone else to invoke your warranty, remember that call center employees tend to know more about warranties and what is allowed that sales representatives working at a store.
5. Aim for Resolution, Not Escalation:
Escalation, or asking to contact a manager, is rarely worthwhile when phoning a call center. Not only will it waste more time, but the manager will not be able to make warranty decisions that the original representative cannot. Both are bound by precisely the same company regulations – you will not receive more favorable treatment. If there is a serious communication issue, consider escalation, but do not think you will get a better deal out of it.
6. Never Yell:
Call center workers get yelled at all the time. It annoys them, makes them edgy, and makes it far less likely that you will be able to get a return or refund. If you feel like yelling at a call center rep, it is usually because you do not have enough time or information to make a proper call. Stop, do some more research, find a better time, and try to call again.
7. Be Prepared to Compromise:
Not everything works out perfectly. Prepare to compromise to get at least part of what you want, such as a partial refund or a gift card instead of a full return. Something is a lot better than nothing, and heading in with this attitude will make the call much smoother.
Cassie Lummus is an independent writer for Answering Service United. Their website helps small and medium sized businesses grow by finding the best answering service solutions.