Making sure you receive great customer service

Last evening a group of us went out to dinner at a popular Italian restaurant. One has to realize that South Florida – namely Palm Beach County is rich with tourists, snowbirds, and an occasional rude diner which gives us the opportunity to learn by someone’s mistakes. Our party was only seated for a few minutes when a rather rude uproar began at the next table. Apparently the dinner order wasn’t to the satisfaction of one very nasty gentleman, and as he raised his voice and insulted the young server, everyone in the restaurant and bar area turned around almost snarling with disdain aimed toward the rude customer.

So does getting angry and raising your voice get one better customer service? Of course, the obvious answer is no, but it lends some thought to getting better customer service when everything else seems to go awry. Some customers seem to always get better customer service than others, and let’s face it, we still get more bees with honey than with vinegar.

Did the clerk at the store sell you the wrong sized drill? Did the expensive sweater you ordered online shrink after the first washing? Did the waiter serve your fish poached instead of grilled? It’s not too much to ask that whatever we purchase or wherever we go that as consumers we are entitled to fine service and good products. When service isn’t what we expected however, let’s spend a few moments first and think. Of prime importance is to keep one’s cool and if necessary, wait until you’re not angry or explosive anymore. Face it – no one wants to deal with a raving lunatic.

Once you have calmed down, take a few minutes and put your story together concisely. Leave out the insults. Explain to the customer service representative that you are angry at the product or the company and not at the individual who is trying to help you. In this particular restaurant debacle, the kitchen didn’t prepare two meals as ordered. Instead of addressing the server by her name, the customer raised his voice and accused the server of not paying attention to his order. The need to connect to the person trying to help you is very important, and civility and politeness goes a long way in any customer complaint.

Assuming that you are documenting everything and to everyone whom you are speaking to about your problem, ask when the problem will be addressed. Never be satisfied with a customer service representative telling you that someone will be calling you or that your complaint will be filed accordingly. Insist on a specific time period when someone will get back to you.

What if no one answers your complaint as promised? By this time you have everything documented with times and names, so feel obliged to climb the ladder to the next higher department. Inform the company that you are already considering contacting their competition for your future business, but remember when the problem is finally resolved, and hopefully that happens a great majority of the time, be positive and thank the representative for taking the time and addressing your issue. Positive feedback is appreciated by everyone – make someone’s day just a little brighter and say thank you.

One Response to “Making sure you receive great customer service”

  1. Clark Macario said:

    Apr 18, 12 at 3:26 pm


    It can be sometimes difficult when a customer is upset. When emotion gets involved with a bad customer service experience, logic sometimes goes away and bad decisions follow. I do agree with the conclusion, if I do not receive a response from the business, I will use all my power to spend my money at the competition and use my social media tools to blast the aweful service. Dead on with this post!