Know When To Fold ‘Em

Anyone who works in customer service knows that it's not always the easiest job in the world. While it can be very rewarding, it can also be very frustrating. You know your product, you're familiar with your services and how it works. Most of the time, you can translate what you know to your customers in a way that makes sense to them. The reality of being a customer and being in customer service is that there is going to be a customer/rep that you just can't connect with. Whether you're trying to explain the services, answer a question, or help trouble shoot a problem, somewhere along the way it just seems to get lost.

As a customer, you can feel like you're asking the right questions and as the rep on the other end of the phone, you feel like you're not doing a good enough job in answering the inquiry. Your customer is getting frustrated, you're getting frustrated, and this has all the makings of being a bad situation soon.

The question is: are you able to admit that you're not going to be able to help?  It doesn't mean that you are bad at your job; it just means there's someone that you can't connect to.

How do you determine when it's time to ask for help? Do you have a time limit that you give yourself when a customer is upset that you try to get everything resolved? Passing a customer along to another person in the office doesn't necessarily mean you're passing the buck or can't do your job. It just means that you're going to send this customer to someone who can answer their questions in a way that they can understand.

If you find yourself speaking "at" someone and not "to" them it's probably time to step away.  When you sense a customer is getting frustrated, there's nothing wrong with offering to transfer them to someone who can give them better clarification.  Most customers would be happy to be transferred and then get their question answered or problem resolved.

What are your thoughts? Should a customer ever have to ask to be transferred or should you take the initiative to handle that for them? As the customer in this situation, is there a way to ask to speak to someone else?

Do you know when to hold em, and know when to fold ‘em? (Thank you Kenny Rogers)