Getting more from customer support: negotiation tip
13 Jul, 2020

Two major life events in the last three months radically increased my contact with customer support reps. 1. I got married and merged bank accounts, property, billing, and so on. 2. I took over growth marketing and led configuring, connecting, and using around 20-30 marketing tools.

Applying Never Split the Difference principles, I’ve had a nearly 100% success rate with customer support, even in some pretty frustrating situations.

The ONE thing: they’re almost all not allowed to hang up on you if you still claim to have needs and aren’t being mean.

Here’s the worst and how to handle it:

  • Them: “I’m sorry, but I cannot help you with this / [some other completely unsatisfying answer]”
  • Me: “Is there anything else you’re authorized to do?” (often, this question is magic because the answer is yes)
  • Them: “No. That’s our policy / I can’t do anything differently.”


  • Me: “What’s your plan to put me in touch with someone authorized to do it differently than that policy or change the policy?”
  • Them: “[insert horrible plan]”
  • Me: “How am I supposed to accept that?”
  • Them: “Let me get you a manager…”

Magic. Three times I got that far (and got what I wanted: someone able to hear the issue and make a real decision that I expected to fit the brand in the first place.)

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A synthesizer of neuroscience, classical rhetoric, philosophy, 5,000+ hours at whiteboards, high stakes presentations, Fortune 10 consulting, and startup growth.

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