If you have ever tried calling a customer service line before for help with an issue, you have probably experienced some of the frustration that comes along with this. Phoning customer service to solve a problem can sometimes be one of the best exasperating customer servicethings in the world.

First of all, it will take you a long time to simply find the correct number that you should call, as these numbers are not always prominently displayed in the most logical way. Then, when you finally contact the company you will be passed around to a number of different customer service assistants, many of which will have no idea how to fix your problem or what to do. You will repeat yourself five times, explaining the issue to every person whom you get passed to down the line. By the time you have spent nearly an hour on the phone (and a lot of money in premium phone line charges) you will have wasted a lot of time and you may or may not have received a satisfactory answer.

So is there any way that you can improve your customer service experience and receive better care when you are phoning up the company? Here are some tips that you can keep in mind, which will help to make sure that you get better customer service when you are phoning up a company:

Find a Direct Customer Service Number

Sometimes it can be difficult to find the right number for the customer service department, as the company hasn’t made this information easy to access. This means that you will waste a lot of time looking around and calling the wrong number, costing more of your precious time.

There are some services that offer a direct phone number to the customer service line, so you will not have to look around or struggle to find the right number. For example, if you are calling Sky you can find a direct phone number for sky, which will connect you to Sky Customer Services where you will be able to find help with your enquiry. It only costs £0.05 per minute from a BT Landline.

Get Through to An Actual Person

Your problems probably won’t be solved by a robot and if you wanted to talk to a computer, you would have just googled your issue. Getting through to an automated system won’t really help you at all, so your priority should be to get through to an actual human being.

Next time you have reached an automated menu such as “Press one for opening times, Press two for… etc.”, try waiting until the end of the list of options. They will usually have an option for “any other questions” which will direct you through to a customer service representative.

Another trick is to press “0” or pressing a series of numbers that the system doesn’t recognize, which will usually get you put through automatically to a customer service representative.

Research Your Problem in Advance

Before you speak to a customer service representative about your issue, take the time to look it up online and learn a little more about the problem. You probably aren’t the only person in history who has had this problem, so it helps to look online and find out more about the issue and what solutions are possible. If someone else has had the problem, they might have some advice on how customer service can best solve the issue when you phone them.

Gather Your Important Documents in Advance

When you are on the phone number with customer service and they ask for your account number, password or credit card number, you don’t want to be running around trying to find these while speaking to them. Gather everything in advance, so that you will have it ready when they ask for it. This way, you will be able to get through the phone call as quickly and concisely as possible.

Ask For the Supervisor

If you are not getting the results that you want, don’t be afraid to escalate and ask to speak to the representative’s supervisor. Often, the supervisor will be more helpful because they will have more authorization to do things that the first level of representatives don’t have. Make sure that you are polite and not rude, if you ask nicely you won’t turn the conversation sour.

Record the Call for Your Records

Sometimes customer service representatives will follow up on their word and do what you have asked them to, but other times the problem will not be resolved and you will have to follow up again. Even if the company says that they record their calls, it never hurts to have a copy of the phone call on your end as well, so that you can have the evidence on your side. Of course, you should make sure that you are recording phone calls legally and check with the regulations in your country for recording phone calls – as you might need to get the consent of the customer service representative on the end of the line.

These are just a few tips for getting better service when you are phoning a company. Of course, the one thing to remember is to be nice. You will catch more flies with honey than vinegar, so be friendly and polite and you are more likely to get better service.