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Use this whenever you call customer service

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A while back, I wrote about how I kept records of every call with customer-service reps from Sprint. This is because they repeatedly “forgot” and lied about agreements we made.

One of my friends (who wants to remain anonymous) sent over this spreadsheet he uses to do the same thing:

I just started doing the same – keeping a spreadsheet of conversations with customer service reps in general with all that key info. Airlines, financial, and other counterparties we do business with on a recurring basis. Date, time, name of person(s), reason for call, other comments. Like my own little reverse CRM system.

It’s simple and it works. Courtesy of my friend: Track your customer service calls (Excel file)

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26 Comments on "Use this whenever you call customer service"

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Bryan
10 years 5 months ago

Ooh, this is a great idea! I especially love that you can sort the columns however you’d like. Thanks for the idea, Ramit!

Nick
Nick
10 years 5 months ago

Even simpler, just create a private blog and record it there. If you record it as you go, it even gets timestamped.

Andy Y. Lin
10 years 5 months ago

You should start using Microsoft OneNote instead of Word/Excel files to keep all your information.

Wandering Indian Monk
10 years 5 months ago

And, how would this help? Are these folks (Customer Service Reps) going to be believe what we have catalogued? Will they accept it as proof?

Ramit Sethi
10 years 5 months ago

Yes, it can. Read the previous link about my fiasco with Sprint.

Derek Ashauer
10 years 5 months ago

I highly recommened using Backpack. It’s free. I use it for organizing, making lists for anything and everything under the sun I need to keep myself organized.

(No, I am not a spam bot or a salesperson – it really does make life easier)

Nick
Nick
10 years 5 months ago

Forget OneNote – keep using Excel. Excel is, at least, available on non-Microsoft platforms.

Kevin
Kevin
10 years 5 months ago

I’ve been doing something similar for quite a while. I create a separate sheet (Mine are in Word) for each vendor I want to track then Link them to the Vendor’s record in my PIM. I this system for Entourage on a Mac at home and Outlook at work & it has DEFINATELY given me an upper hand with all service vendors. Nothing kicks the service to the next level like having an accurate history of the problem.

Steve Yen
10 years 5 months ago

Couldn’t resist — here’s a web based version of the customer service tracker spreadsheet. disclosure: I wrote the web spreadsheet SW

Tom
Tom
10 years 5 months ago

If you like the idea of keeping track of stuff in Excel, you really really might want to take a look at my Excel spreadsheet solution for reference systems. Really. its different. its free, it works.

I have described it here:
http://groups.google.com/group/43Folders/browse_frm/thread/7037c968d8ab1405?hl=en&

You can download a copy of the file here:
http://www.justinlilly.com/excel/

and download both of these files:
Personal Information..> 05-Feb-2006 20:04 612k “The File”
Tom’s screenshots.xls 05-Feb-2006 20:05 404k “Examples”

Andy Y. Lin
10 years 5 months ago

If you’re using Windows, OneNote will serve your needs much better. Of course, if it’s not available to you you should go with whatever you have.

RJ
10 years 5 months ago

This is a good simple way of keeping tabs on the calls that you make.

I use my email (i am a gmail fan) to keep record of my conversations/discussions with a particular party or person.

Use the efficient label and filter function gmail provides and just send yourself the email. This way it stays on Gmail and use it in conjunction with your desktop email client (I use Thunderbird) and you can even send yourself a reminder email to call or followup a previous call. This way you are or should be on top of things.

Good idea anyhow.

R J

Maria Palma
10 years 5 months ago

This is a great idea – I’ll definitely try to implement it and suggest it to my readers.

I’ve been using my daykeeper to keep track of calls, but sometimes I have to go back a few months and then I forget what month I need to go to!

~Maria Palma
CustomersAreAlways.com

Dale
Dale
10 years 5 months ago

One thing to remember when you are dealing with customer service reps (CSR). Often companies will have policies not to use their actual names. I can remember one bank having half their CSR’s using Sally if they were west of the Mississippi and Betty if they were east. Always ask for an employee number or forward to a supervisor and ask for his. You don’t have to be nasty about it but it does show you’re serious and you are seeking resolution

Mieke
Mieke
10 years 5 months ago

You know, it truly doesn’t matter what tool you use. A plain text file will do just fine as well. The important part is to capture the data – date, time, name of person spoken with, time on hold, number of refusals to connect to supervisor, name and phone# of supervisor, etc. And yes, I keep track too. 🙂

RJ
10 years 5 months ago

All the comments above shows how much CSRs are trusted!!!!

Patrick Allmond
10 years 4 months ago

I am late coming to the party but of the options I did not see mentioned was Outlook. There is a journal function that perfectly designed for this – to log your activity (calls, emails, tasks) etc with a contact. Even has a built in phone call timer.

This is what it is there for .

Bink
Bink
9 years 11 months ago

Sprint is the devil. Their customer service is horrible. On a better note, thanks for the spreadsheet! 🙂

James Staut
James Staut
9 years 5 months ago
Dealing with customer service agents over the phone can be a real headache. I’ve had numerous negative experiences with CS centers and in each case I was left feeling frustrated without any way to press my claims. Your idea seems interesting but I’ve recently came across a new and free service that I think provides a greater utility in this regards. The service is called 321-CALL-LOG and it allows users to automatically record, authenticate, and notarize telephone and email conversations they have with customer service representatives. Purpose of the service is to empower consumers when dealing with CS centers by… Read more »
Brandon
Brandon
9 years 3 months ago

You’ve got to check out Highrise. It just launched and it’s perfect for this.
http://www.highrisehq.com

J
J
9 years 1 month ago

And remember ‘Ctrl+;’ will insert today’s date into a cell and ‘Ctrl+Shift+;’ inserts the current time.

San Diego SEO
8 years 7 months ago

You are right about Sprint they do lie and the customer support is only good at one thing. Arguing! When I switched over to the iPhone they switched tactics ( Fraud ). They will do anything to keep someone in a contract and bleed cash from them. I wish I had thought of keeping records of every call. Would have made my case a lot easier.

Angus Lau
8 years 6 months ago

We do this for our own customer service log at EditGrid.

http://blog.editgrid.com/archives/355

cc
7 years 11 months ago
As a customer service rep for a well known insurance company it is amazing to me to see how many people forget that we are under paid, hard working, struggling to make ends meet, people just as you are. We are required to follow our rules and regulations on our job just as you are on yours. We have certain tasks with each phone call that we are required to preform. Yelling or cursing at us will not make us preform harder for you. Saying please and thank you will go a very long way. Some of us like to… Read more »
K
K
7 years 5 months ago

CC,

It is important to remember that sometimes customers are cursed at, blatantly lied to, hung up on. The same things you describe being done to reps is sometimes done to customers as well. The difference is customers are paying for a service. That is why most people get frustrated. I understand it may not be the most high-paying or rewarding job and everyone has a bad day sometimes. If you are doing your job, then you have no reason to fear being taped.

Ariel
Ariel
7 years 3 months ago
I work for in the customer service field and I think this log is great! From my standpoint as a customer but also as a rep as well because when you call a company and say something was “supposed to be done… a while ago” we don’t know what “a while ago” for you means. Therefore it saves time and will end up with much faster results to know when the call being referenced to actually took place. Also I do not know about other companies, but for my current and and last 2 positions held they did not auth… Read more »
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