Think back to the last time you got in touch with a business to register a complaint. From your perspective, did the affair seem to be handled smoothly, or did it seem like pure chaos on the other end of the phone? Believe it or not, if you were dealing with a company large enough to have its own standardized complaint procedure, what you went through was probably a tightly scripted exercise that was designed not only to give you a feeling of satisfaction but also to clear your call out of the queue and move on to the next customer.
The first thing you need to understand is that complaints cost money by taking up the paid time of the employee you’re talking to. The goal of a business is to keep you as a customer by addressing your issue at the lowest and, therefore, cheapest of three skill levels that will do the trick.
Level one is usually the ordinary customer service rep who just finished the last call two seconds before the router sent your call to him. This rep is usually an entry-level employee with a handle time to worry about, so once he or she has gathered your information and identified your call as a complaint, he or she will probably run through the company-approved script for your kind of call. This script is usually written by experts who also worry about call-handle times. So if your problem is a minor one, this rep might solve it while you’re on the phone.
If the intake rep was unable to resolve your issue or you just wanted to vent and his or her call timer was running out, you might be moved along to the next level. Level two reps are often just intake reps who aren’t required to meet handle time requirements, so they can usually play solitaire until you’re all shouted out and ready to listen to the company’s solution. Having your call escalated like this isn’t always just a way of getting rid of you, however. Remember that this rep has all the time in the world to track down your problem and really fix it and can sometimes call you back in a few hours to let you know how it went.
Level three is for customers who repeatedly demand “a supervisor” or “the boss.” Unfortunately, the supervisor in this case is often an administrator who specializes in supervising reps, rather than resolving complaints. After the supervisor has addressed your complaint and retained you as a customer, your ticket is usually handed back to the escalation rep you were just talking to earlier and is resolved.
When you have to file a complaint, it’s a good idea to remember that you and the company share a common goal, that is, to make you happy and end the call. Keep calm, listen to what your rep is telling you and try to ascertain right away whether you’re going to need escalation or not, and your odds of justice improve considerably.
About the Author
Nancy Anderson is the communities and article editor for Beyond.com.Â Nancy has 10 years experience in the online job search business with Beyond. Nancy’s team produces dozens of articles every month for top internet sites.Â Follow Nancy and the Beyond team on https://twitter.com/Beyond_com.