Renegotiating as a Customer
By Marc Freeman
all customers at one time or another; it is simply not possible to
go through life not being a customer. As a customer, you want to be
treated a certain way. You want to be treated with respect and
kindness, and you want to be taken care of.
service is greatly lacking in this country. You can count on one
hand the companies that provide great customer service, and you
continue to do business with those same companies over and over
again. A person never knows how good or bad a company’s customer
service is until something goes wrong. This is usually a person’s
first experience in renegotiating as a customer with a particular
Unfortunately, people are constantly renegotiating as customers.
Renegotiating is the art of changing, revising or altering a
previously negotiated contract or relationship. Every time you have
to return an item back to a store. Each time you call a company
because you need help with one of their products. This is all
to reaching an agreement in a renegotiation lies in how you handle
the situation. Here are four points on how to resolve the issue as
quickly and as amicably as possible.
1. Always be prepared: Before
you pick up the phone or venture back to the store, make sure that
you have everything you will need. This includes all the
information on the product or service available, such as when and
where you bought it, how you paid for it, the account number if
needed and what went wrong. Also make sure that you have your
receipt handy. It usually helps to know who you had been dealing
If you try to deal with a customer
service rep while unprepared, it makes it more difficult for
everyone involved in the transaction. By making the experience as
easy as possible for the rep, you are far more likely to see the
results you want.
2. Know who is in control of the
situation at all times: This is referred to as
The Secret of the Orange Ball. The person in control of any renegotiation is the one holding The
Orange Ball. Someone has to be in control in order for the
renegotiation to move foreword. If you don’t know who has the Orange
Ball, it will be difficult to drive the renegotiation in your
When you call the customer service
department of any company about a problem or issue you are having,
they control the Orange Ball. In this situation you don’t mind if
they are in control as long as they are solving your problem or
taking care of your issue.
3. Know who you need to talk with to get an issue resolved:
What happens if the person you are speaking with cannot solve your
problem? You have several options and it all depends on the nature
of your problem. Many times the customer service associate is only
allowed to help so much, as they are limited in what they can do. At
this point, if you feel you are in the right, request to speak to a
supervisor. Thank the customer service associate for all he has
done for you but you need to speak to a supervisor to see if the
supervisor has more tools to help you.
Another option is if you get frustrated with the associate you are
speaking with, you can always thank them and end the conversation.
Then call back and speak to another associate. Explain what
happened with the last associate and let them know how frustrated
Keep in mind that company policies may not allow a customer service
representative to help you in the way you need. If this is the case,
you will probably have to write a letter to get your issue resolved.
When this occurs, be sure to include all the information that you
gathered prior to the call or visit in the letter. This will ensure
that whoever receives it has all the information they need.
4. Hit the Refresh Button:
A surefire way to ensure that your problem does not
get resolved is to loose your temper and treat the people who are
trying to help you poorly. When you feel yourself beginning to get
angry or are about to yell at the person you are speaking with, step
back for a moment and take a deep breath. The Refresh Button
techniques are used to get control of the situation. They can help
keep emotions in check while gaining and keeping control of the
Orange Ball. The three basic techniques of the refresh button are:
Listen — Listening is a skill, it shows respect, and being
silent and listening brings great knowledge.
Nice — Being nice doesn’t mean being insipid or insincere. It
means being pleasant and calm: showing understanding for the
other party’s point of view, and not verbally attacking anyone.
Humor — If you can laugh together then you can renegotiate
almost anything. Humor is a great way to create an easier and
more productive relationship.
These three techniques will help you get
control of the Orange Ball. They also set a tone for how you will
behave and lead the renegotiation to help both sides behave
properly. If you are nice and pleasant, then most likely the person
you are dealing with will be nice and pleasant. If you get an
associate who seems upset, take a step back and say, “It sounds like
you have had a bad day, I am so sorry. Anything I can do to make
your day go better?” Understand that these associates are there to
help you. Many times though they are limited by the policies of the
company they represent.
customer service is the backbone of any society. It is indicative of
how people treat each other. The art of good customer service has
been lost, and we desperately need to get it back. It starts though
behavior. Customers can set the tone. If you are not satisfied,
don’t get angry. Take it up the ladder. Thank the person you are
dealing with and ask to speak to their supervisor. Even when they
tell you that their supervisor with tell you the same thing. Ask a
lot of questions. Attack the problem or issue from every angle until
the person you are dealing with becomes your partner in trying to
figure out a way to help you.
only control one aspect of every relationship and that is the way
you behave. Good behavior will rub off on those you deal with.
Ultimately, customers, control the Orange Ball because they get to
choose where they take their business.
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