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15 Genius Tricks for Reaching a Customer Service Rep Way Faster

Never waste your day listening to hold music again.

Whether you've found yourself saddled with a defective product or can't figure out what those charges on your credit card statement are from, everyone's found themselves frantically trying to get ahold of a customer service representative at one time or another. But getting a real-live person on the phone to address your issues is often easier said than done. So, how do you get the help you need without waiting on hold all day? Read on for 15 tips that'll help you reach a customer service rep in no time.

Use Facebook.

white woman uses facebook on tablet in lap to reach a customer service rep

Don't feel like waiting on hold forever to reach a customer service rep? Use Facebook instead. "Many larger brands use social media, especially Facebook, where you can live chat directly with customer service representatives," says Jack Barrett, a customer service and sales manager at Vuly Play. "This is often a good place to start if you need to get in touch ASAP. If this option isn't available, drop them a Facebook message."

Or take your issue to Twitter.

white person's hand holds phone featuring blue Twitter welcome screen, trying to reach a customer service rep

Putting a company on blast tends to net results—just ask the countless businesses that have been subject to boycotts after a tweet about their service went viral. If you find that reaching a customer service rep by other means is close to impossible, tweet the issue and tag the company in question (using the @ sign, plus the brand's Twitter handle). You'll likely get a message back in minutes.

CC the CEO.

black man sending email on computer while sitting on couch to reach customer service rep

As you might have sensed, the phone isn't always the fastest route to a customer service rep. In many cases, emailing the company you're eager to get in touch with will actually yield better results—especially if you CC the head of the company.

"Via email, I always CC the CEO of the company," says behavioral and marketing psychologist Dr. Elliott B. Jaffa, founder of the Customer Obsession training program. "He/she will never read it, but the fact the employee reading my email sees that person's name [means] I get a call back immediately."

Name drop the big boss.

young man of color texting on phone, searching for name of big boss to talk to customer service

But if you do choose to go through traditional phone channels, make sure to include the name of someone high up at the company to let the customer service rep know you mean business. "Mention the CEO's name" when you reach the customer service rep, suggests Jaffa.

Of course, this doesn't mean you'll get handed over to Jeff Bezos when you call Amazon, but for smaller companies, it may assist you in getting ahold of someone who can help.

Search GetHuman before calling.

asian man talking on phone in office while sitting on desk, trying to reach customer service rep

Not in the mood to be transferred to a million different people and wait on hold forever? Search GetHuman for customer service information on the company you're trying to call first. Not only does this service provide you with an accurate customer service phone number, it tells you how long your wait time is likely to be, and how to reach a customer service representative faster once you've dialed in.

Use an app like FastCustomer.

south asian woman holding baby and cell phone, reach a customer service rep

Also not a fan of listening to a company's automated phone service on loop? No problem! Apps like FastCustomer allow you to text the name of the company you're trying to get in touch with and receive a phone call back when a rep becomes available, rather than waiting on the phone.

Or opt into a company's callback service.

50-something white woman with brown hair types on phone while sitting on yoga mat after work out, trying to reach customer service rep

Being put on hold for what seems like an eternity is no one's idea of a good time. However, if you want to spend less time listening to hold music and potentially reach a live person faster, opt into the callback service for whichever company you're trying to reach. Doing so will allow you to go about your day, and simply answer the phone when someone's ready to help you out.

Ask for a supervisor.

frustrated black man in suit talks on Phone, trying to reach customer service rep

"As soon as you reach a live voice, immediately ask to speak to a supervisor," says Jaffa. Doing so indicates you mean business and might just get you to a customer service rep faster.

Call early.

older black woman texts on phone at desk to talk to customer service rep

Timing is crucial when you need a real-live person to help address your customer service quandaries. According to a report from TalkDesk, 7 a.m. is the best time to call if you're hoping for short wait times.

Stay polite.

older woman with short grey hair and glasses smiles on phone trying to reach customer service rep

While waiting on a long hold for a customer service rep can send even the most placid people into an uncharacteristic fury, it pays to be polite in the long run. Once you do hear a voice on the other line, make sure you mind your manners—in some cases, customer service reps are allowed to end calls from customers who are irate or abusive.

Or get angry while you're on hold.

young white man in suit sits at desk shouting into phone, trying to reach a customer service rep

As strange as it may sound, swearing while you're on hold—or while you're talking to an automated service—may actually get you taken care of faster. In fact, in 1997, telecommunications company Mitel patented a technology to detect frustration in customers, including the utterance of swears, and reroute their calls based on the assessed level of anger. Sometimes, the angry bird gets the worm.

Ask for a direct phone number.

older man with blazer, glasses, and grey hair talking on speakerphone, trying to reach customer service rep
Shutterstock/Jacob Lund

If you know you'll need to get in touch with a company again in the future, ask for a direct number the next time you're on a customer service call.

"If you need to follow up with a customer service representative, ask for a direct phone number or email address before you go," says Barrett. "This way you can get in touch at a faster rate than returning through the regular contact channels."

Wait until the automated menu has been read through.

young asian woman carrying clipboard and talking on smartphone, reach a customer service rep
Shutterstock/Dragon Images

Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to reaching a customer service rep. On many automated menus, you'll hear the number you should dial for "all other options"—including customer service—after everything else has been listed, so wait out the whole list whenever possible.

Hit 0.

man's hand dials phone while sitting at desk with receiver in other hand, trying to reach a customer service rep
Shutterstock/Don Pablo

When in doubt, dial zero and you'll likely reach a customer service professional faster. While it's not the case for every business, many automated systems still connect you to a live person when you dial the operator.

Have your credit card lend you a hand.

black woman making online payment with credit card, trying to reach a customer service rep

If you have a prestige credit card—like an American Express Platinum or Black Card, a Visa Signature or Infinite Card, or a World Elite Master Card, just to name a few—you may have a customer concierge available to you. If so, they may be able to help you out with some of the things another company's customer service rep would, like booking or canceling reservations, or figuring out charges on your statement. And for more customer service secrets, discover the 27 Worst Things You Can Ever Say to Customer Service.

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Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more
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