COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Are you willing to pay more for good customer service? Forbes conducted a survey of 1,000 U.S. customers, and 58% say they are. But would you be willing to pay to keep customer service around?

Sarah Buxbaum has been in customer service and hospitality for 18 years, and she said more and more businesses are doing away with live customer service representatives altogether.

“They’re trying to cut costs on their business,” said Buxbaum. “And, it’s cheaper for them short-term to have the robot on the chat.”

Not only are call centers expensive to staff, Buxbaum said, but many representatives are calling it quits, tired of suffering abuse from impatient callers.

“You can’t call people and yell at them over the phone, if you want them to show up for work the next day,” Buxbaum said.

But, Buxbaum added, it’s a combined effort. Businesses need to do their part, too. “It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to treat your customers with respect.”

For the consumer, Buxbaum said there are ways to adjust to this “new normal.” First, change your mindset.
“With the consumer, they need to be a little bit more patient,” said Buxbaum. “Because everyone has these crazy expectations right now.”

Second, turn to social media. Companies don’t want bad publicity and will likely respond if you tweet them or tag them.

Finally, try shopping small.

“I guarantee you the owner of the local shop is going to call you back if you have a problem. They’re not going to forward you because they don’t have a call center,” Buxbaum said.

If you are able to get through to a company, Buxbaum also suggested letting them know how important it is to keep call centers, in order to keep their customers.

The Better Business Bureau has advice on ways to contact customer support.

As always, if you can’t get through and run out of options, you Better Call 4.