Post # 1
I have a little bit of social anxiety in the first place but nothing that really affects my life. But when I have to call a customer service representative to deal with a problem, I become paralyzed with nervousness. I’ve lost out on money in the past because I was too scared to call as ask for the discount I was entitled to. When I do get up the courage to make the call, I usually back down as soon as I detect any attitude from the CSR. I’ve messed up my credit because I was too intimidated to dispute charges. Now I’m trying to call the airline about a problem with BF’s ticket to come visit me and I’m COMPLETELY freaking out. Nausea, shaking excessive sweating. I don’t even know what I’m so scared of. I guess I’m worried that they’ll be rude to me or think that I’m dumb. I’ve already called just to hang up once.
I’m going to have to deal with calling customer service for the rest of my life so I need to put on my big girl pants and figure out a way to deal. Has anyone here successfully overcame CSR anxiety and how did you do it? I need some advice…
Post # 4
As I worked many jobs as CSR for different companies, usually I just want to make the customer happy, and sometimes it does take work, cause the CSR has to probably get approval on things. I know it can be sort anxiety ridden but they are just people too!
Post # 5
I used to be kind of like that! Not so bad, but still.
Fist of all, working customer service helped immensely. I feel like I am better equipped to know what I’m entitled to as a customer. It’s not that hard to not be a jerkface, so I get really uppity when CSR people are mean.
That won’t solve the immediate problem.
Do you have anyone who can help you? A friend maybe? I’ve had friends jump in when I start to flounder and they get it done.
Also, never be afraid to talk to a manager or call back again if you need to.
Post # 6
@worldtraveler: I worked in customer service while I went to school, and as long as you’re polite, the CSR usually only wants to help you. You have to realize that they’re just people.
I’m not the most outgoing, social person, and definitely get nervous in dealing w. people, but as long as you’re polite, what’s the worst that can happen? The person can’t even see you. If they think you’re dumb, so what? They deal with hundreds of people a week. It’s not like you’re any different or memorable vs. anyone else. If they are rude to you, or you’re not getting anywhere, ask for a supervisor. You’re right – it’s a part of life, so you should learn how to deal w. it. I don’t think anyone particularly enjoys dealing w. these things, but you can do it.
Can you write out a bit of a script beforehand so that you have an idea what you’re going to say? Anticipate potential issues that may come up so you have an idea how you’re going to deal with them.
Post # 7
What works a lot of times is silence before you speak. If they say something. Just take two seconds to think abou they said and what your response it. Then answer. If you feel like the CSR is not caring or is rude, then ask to speak to the manager. You are in control of the conversation most of the time. When it’s a company that cares about their customers, you most definitely are.
I agree that you should write down your points and tick them off. If they have counter points, tell them to hold on a second, and sit there until you can think of what to say. Then say “I’m back, sorry….” and continue the talk.
If you feel cornered, just assert what you want. If they try to talk you into keeping something, just keep repeating “I really just want to x.” If they won’t give you what you want, ask for the manager.
When I had to deal with AT&T, I always had to talk to the manger. When I’d get a new free phone, they always wanted to charge me $30 or so for activation. I was like, Oh, hell no. I had the account for over 10 years, and I was not charged it. Each time the rep insisted. Each time, I said, “Well, just let me talk to a manager.” The manager would do it right away. Once I even told a rep, just get the manager to do it, cause I didn’t feel like talking to the manager. She tells me she can’t do that and the manager won’t do it either. I almost busted out laughing, but I told her to just put the manager on the phone then. Of course I got what I wanted.
I have a certain fear of these things, too, but sometimes, especially when I know I’m right, I really just assert it and don’t care who gets mad. crooked or uncaring sales people try to use your fear to your advantage to get over on you. That thought alone ought to make you want to be assertive.
Post # 8
I can partially relate. I have a major irrational fear of phone conversations in general (besides close family and DH). I’m much better about discussing things in person, for whatever reason.
Post # 9
I DO!!! and I have even worked in customer service before, over the phone and in person. Just keep telling yourself they are there to help you, give service to the customer. Most good customer service people will do whatever they can to help and remember they may not like it as well just like me 🙂
Post # 10
I have major social anxiety and LOTS of issues on the phone (I even made a thread on this a few months ago, and lots of other people have the same problem). It takes me a lot of time and a ton of courage to make phone calls for things like this. I’ve worked in customer service (both face to face and taking calls) and I still don’t feel confident doing these things. Half the time I’m more likely to be willing to take an hour out of my day to go talk to someone in person than on the phone…
No tips or suggestions, but you’re definitely not alone!
Post # 11
This advice was really fantastic–thanks! Situation with BF’s ticket has been resolved and was resolved quite painlessly. I really don’t know what I worry so much about, but it’s nice to hear I’m not the only one who has this problem. I’ll keep your great tips in mind the next time I have to deal with this situation.
Post # 12
OP glad it worked out in the end….as a former CSR And CSR manager I always tried to make my customer’s happy so just remember CSR’s are there to help.