A few weeks ago I overhead a customer losing her sh*t at the Genius Bar because she couldn’t sync her iPhone to iTunes. The customer service representative probed politely to understand her issue before offering up a solution.
The solution required a factory reset which spun the customer into a tizzy because she’d have to download her running playlist from the cloud.
You know the cloud. It’s that amazing thing that makes every aspect of your life way f’ing better. Need to access your files from anywhere in the world? See the cloud. Collaborate on a project with your colleagues? See the cloud. Get your Cranberries playlist back in about 10 minutes. Yup, the cloud.
But for some people apparently downloading a playlist while you get to do whatever else you want (like look for better running playlists) isn’t good enough. Sigh. Louis C.K. says it best, “Everything is amazing and nobody is happy.”
The incident I witnessed at the Apple store forever changed how I communicate with customer support representatives. Here’s my new formula anytime I bump into an issue:
- Start by expressing gratitude.
- Communicate the problem calmly and clearly. Extra points for screenshots, pictures or anything else that will help the person on the other end understand your issue.
- Include a self deprecating sentence in the P.S. aimed at evoking a smile from the person on the other end of your email.
- Thank the representative for fixing your problem (even if it takes longer than you’d like).
- Show gratitude again.
Here’s how this played out when I hit a snag with the Trainer Road app.
Here’s the customer service reps response:
And Evan (about 2 minutes later):
Showing gratitude to customer service representatives usually isn’t top of mind.
But showing companies and people how much you appreciate and genuinely care about how they make your life better not only feels good on the soul but also makes the other person feel good. It’s your responsibility as a person living in this world to make other people feel food.
And here’s a bonus. When you show gratitude, customer service representatives respond in kind. You can feel a little something extra in their response. And who knows, showing a little gratitude may even get your Cranberries playlist restored a little faster.
One last thing . . .
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