Happy New Year! The CSG Guide to January
Happy New Year!
It’s January 1st, the start of a whole new chapter of your life, and the beginning of one of the busiest months of the year. Whether you’re kicking New Year’s Resolutions into gear, diving into the January Sales or just hanging back and cleaning up after Christmas, there’s going to be lots to do, so we figured we’d help by typing up this handy guide.
It’ll cover returning items post-Christmas and navigating the January Sales, and will, in all likelihood, save your life.
Making returns after Christmas
When getting in touch with customer service, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure you get the best possible result.
After Christmas and throughout the January Sales, the customer service departments of many stores and companies will be swamped with callers, so anything you can possibly do to improve your speed, efficiency and outcome will make a world of difference, both to you and to your customer service rep. Things you can do to help include:
Having a set goal in mind
Tackling a complaint with no goal other than “this is broken and I should do something about it” is a sure-fire way to walk away frustrated and disappointed. Heading into the complaint with a set end-goal to strive towards will give you a focus, provide a recognisable marker for success and avoid that feeling of listlessness created by goal uncertainty. So before you pick up the phone, open the email or walk into the store, decide what you want out of the complaint. A refund? An exchange? Knowing what you want to walk away with will alter the way you speak to the customer service rep, change your attitudes and provide you with set targets to work towards, making a great resolution more likely for everyone involved.
Getting your information together
Take some time to research your rights as a consumer before you get in contact, and collect all the information on the product and purchase you think you’ll need. If you’re complaining about a contract, now’s the time to research all of its terms and conditions, and if you’re bringing back a product, now’s your chance to look into its warranty and return conditions. It’s far better to knwo these things going in, and ties into “having a set goal in mind” very well!
Avoiding phoning in if possible
If at all possible, avoid phoning in. Although many customer service departments will be beefed-up with extra staff after Christmas, they will still be inundated with calls, and therefore may not be able to provide the resolution you’re looking for. Also, some companies are less-than-ideal in how they handle phone complaints: on the other end of a phone line, a customer’s only power lies in patience, and even that is finite. Some companies choose to brush off disgruntled customers by simply making them jump through hoops on a telephone until they give up.
In person or in writing, this is considerably harder, and the customer is much more likely to get results.
With Christmas over, the big draw for customers and businesses alike is now the January Sales. While it would be possible (and perhaps even wise) to write an article on how to survive the chaos of the sales, it’s probably more important to focus on sensibly getting around the January Sales as best we can, and acting to minimise our need for customer service!
Like any sales, the January Sales can easily convince shoppers to buy things they don’t need, things they can’t afford, and marked-down items of dubious value. If a shopper gets carried away, calls to customer service can be inevitable – so it’s always worth being careful what you buy in the sales. Check every item before purchase to make sure it is in good condition, is fit for purpose and to make sure you won’t get hit with any major post-purchase regret, and then if you’re still sure, go nuts. It might seem unnecessary and obvious, but the entire premise for the success of “sales” is that people will buy things they don’t need on the illusion of grabbing a bargain. Avoiding having to call customer service is even better than satisfactorily calling them, every time.