How to Get Better Customer Service

man in a jean shirt checks his phone

Getting great customer service is possible. Here’s how to ensure your phone call or email results in the support you need.

The holidays are upon us, and for most of us, that means interacting with more customer service representatives. Some of us are ordering from more websites for holiday shopping, and that means we’re often having to contact the company with questions or about problems. And even when we’re not shopping, we often have to deal with company customer service at the worst times, when something goes wrong.

Here at Infomedia, we bend over backward to make our customer service experience as streamlined, friendly and easy as possible (if you’ve ever called and spoken to Michele, Michael, John or Pam, you know what we mean), but not every company functions that way. When you have to email support, there are a few ways to get better help faster. Here’s what to do:

State the problem clearly — maybe even TOO clearly

Assume the person reading your email doesn’t already know what you’re writing about, because they often don’t. They could’ve picked up the email with no previous knowledge of you or your issue. Sure, they can hunt down your account and the people you’ve already talked to, but that wastes precious time that they could use simply fixing your problem. Customer service reps are often busy and sometimes judged on the number of responses they send out, so the clearer you can be, the more likely you’ll get a response to your real question and not a knee-jerk answer that doesn’t really help you.

Include all your customer information

If you have an account number or a customer number, include all of that in your email so they can access your account quickly. If you’re writing about a product, include that number as well. Include any shipping dates or purchase dates as well.

Attach all previous correspondence

If you’ve already been in contact with a company representative, include those emails at the bottom of your message. Don’t assume the person answering your email has access to the rest of your correspondence with the company, because they often don’t. That’s a system-wide problem, but it’s one you can avoid if you include any calls and emails you’ve already had with customer service.

Include screenshots or photos of the problem

If you’re having a problem with website functionality, include a screenshot of exactly what’s happening and why it’s a problem. If you have a broken product, take a picture with your phone and attach it to the email. This will help make your issue very clear and hard to ignore.

Remember you’re writing a human and be as polite as possible

By the time you’ve emailed customer service, you’re most likely dealing with a person and not a robot (hopefully). Chances are, this person is not the owner of the business, so they’re probably not the reason you’re having a problem, so it pays to remember that and to try not to be rude, even though that can be difficult when you’re upset about an issue. You don’t need to apologize or admit fault when it’s not your fault — it’s fine to be direct, and even clear that you’re not pleased. But do try not to be nasty; it’s more humane, and it’s more likely to get you the response you’re looking for.

woman laughs while looking off camera for Infomedia

Carrie has been copyediting and writing for fifteen years. Her skills were forged in the newsroom at The Birmingham Post-Herald and she’s a huge book nerd (she moonlights as Southern Living’s book reviewer), but a love of paper and ink hasn’t stopped her from mastering the digital world as well: She’s had a blog pretty much since they existed, and she’s run social media for companies big and small. Carrie’s always ready to take on a new communication challenge, lecture us about the proper use of semicolons, or defend the fact that her Instagram account is filled with selfies.


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