There seems to be a cultural shift happening in America. Consideration for fellow human being seems to be in a steep decline. Meanwhile, many believe that the appropriate remedy to any perceived slight is to punch back ten times harder.
I’m not a social scientist and this is a student loan blog, so I’ll stay in may lane… Rudeness and hostility will not lead to favorable outcomes when addressing student loan issues.
Customer Service Interactions
For most student loan borrowers, interactions with their student loan company come in the form of a conversation with a customer service representative.
While many borrowers have very legitimate grievances with the student loan company, it is important to remember that there is a human being on the other end of the phone. That fellow human being is likely dramatically underpaid for a tense and stressful job. That fellow human being likely hasn’t received the proper training to do their job properly. That human being spends much of their day being yelled at for things they have no control over. That human being is working a job that most of us would hate and is just trying to earn a living.
Anybody can yell. Anybody can be mean-spirited. It is easy and it provides the illusion of taking control and sticking it to an evil company. The problem is that it does no good. It just agitates the one person in a position to actually address a student loan issue.
Instead, try to make a connection. Show some respect. Be kind to your fellow human being on the other end of the phone. If they are wrong about something, be patient. Explain your situation and ask for help. If you can be specific, be specific. If you can’t, ask questions; don’t make accusations.
The reality is that not all customer service representatives are good at their job. Some might even be lazy, rude, or unhelpful. Sometimes this reality means it will require an extra call to your lender. The problem is there is no way to immediately tell the helpful from the unhelpful. Being a jerk will just ensure that the human being on the other end of the line will have no incentive to help. Being kind is the best way to stand out as an individual deserving of assistance and going the extra mile.
Borrowers lucky enough to make a connection with a helpful representative would be wise try to establish a direct line of contact if possible.
Tell the person you are speaking with that they have been very helpful and that if possible you would like the pleasure of working with them again in the future. Such statements are more than just acts of kindness, they are the surest route to resolving student loan problems quickly and efficiently. For borrowers with complicated issues that will require multiple calls, creating positive interactions will help ensure a positive outcome.
Being a jerk to the person on the other end of the phone may feel justified, but it won’t do any good. Showing kindness and respect to a representative of a hated student loan company may be difficult, but it has the double-advantage of being the right thing to do and the surest way to a positive outcome.