Real-live online customer service is not an oxymoron. You just have to look hard for the small print.
(Pardon the frog cartoon. It was just too cute to pass up. I don’t want to imply that online customer service agents are frogs. They are real people like we are.)
Amazon and AirFrance showed me that some online merchants are now providing access to real-live customer service agents.
I have been a user of Amazon since they were just a bookstore. Throughout the years, they not only added a wide variety of products but also expanded their customer service options to include contact with real-live customer service agents.
My Amazon customer service needs vary from information about products, to products that needed to be returned from overseas, to detailed billing questions.
Amazon’s service options range from FAQ (frequently asked questions) to chatting online and telephoning.
Need to Contact Amazon USA
Let’s assume that you have a complicated problem and have already tried the FAQs and self-help ways of trying to find an answer, which simply do not satisfy your individual situation.
Or, as often my case, I just don’t understand what they are writing about!
Here is how to get to an online real person.
Let’s say my problem is that I think my computer has been hacked and I’m worried about my Amazon account.
Go to Amazon’s homepage. amazon.com
Notice on the top line, in small print almost in the center and at the end of the print starting on the left-hand side, the word ….. Help. Click.
A new page opens up. On the left side under the word Self-Service, there is a yellow “button” that says Contact Us. Click.
A new page opens up.
If you have an Amazon password, you enter it here. (If you forgot your password, you can click on that line.)
You also can open a new account.
Or, and this is new, you can now Skip Sign In (on the low left side). However, they will not immediately have your account information. If they need this information, they will return you to sign in with your password.
Now the Contact Us page opens up.
Here is where to get a live person on the other end of an email, chat or phone. Of course you can use this model for any topic. Just click on the appropriate box.
Step 1. What can we help you with? You can choose
- An order I placed
- Digital Services
- Something else (click and skip to #2)
Step 2. Tell us more about your issue Click on … please make a selection. A box will drop down. Choose the appropriate box. In my case, nothing fits my question so I click on … More non-order questions. Click here and another box opens. Again, nothing fits my question, so I click on … Other non-order questions. Now I’m asked to .. Enter a short summary of issue…..”my computer may have been hacked”.
Step 3. Now you can choose how you want to communicate with a live person.
By email: Type out a more complete description of your issue. Your answer will come via email.
By chat: Click here to chat by typing your discussion as if you were actually talking back and forth. This is faster than emailing. However, occasionally you have to wait for a response. Amazon lets you how long this wait will be.
By phone: At the USA site, this option is available if you are in the USA, Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. I learned this by clicking on the blue arrow box. You enter your phone number and click. Be sure to leave your phone line open to be called. There is no charge using this method of calling.
Amazon also gives their phone numbers. In the USA call….1-866-216-1072 for the automated customer service system.
International customers call 1-206-266-2992. Charges may apply. I call using my Skype account to minimize the cost.
Amazon online customer service agents are no different from any other agent at your department store or bank. They are all working off a “script” that tells them exactly how to respond to your question.
This can be frustrating especially both of you if you have a more unique, complex problem.
Be persistent. If the answer doesn’t satisfy you, contact Amazon over and over until you are satisfied. Amazon keeps a record of each call so that you don’t have to start over completely explaining the problem. I also find that Amazon makes it easier to reach supervisors if the agent is struggling to understand your situation and what will satisfy you.
Amazon is available in nine other countries. The way to get to a real -live person online for customer service at these sites is exactly the same as at the USA site except in some cases the phone is the preferred method of contact.
For information about these other sites, with links to each country, click here.
Amazon Called Me
I think the pyramid of good real-live online customer service is when the company calls you after you thought everything had been settled.
Yes, Amazon even telephoned me. I thought that everything had been settled to my satisfaction, when the Amazon customer service agent called me that she had been thinking about my problem. She had an even better solution!
Now that is customer service. Exceeding my expectations.
In another posting, I’ll tell you about real-live online customer service at AirFrance.