By Author and Customer Service Expert Nancy Friedman, President Telephone Doctor Customer Service.


Crowds, complaints, confusion. Yes, these are the big three this time of the year and add in one big “S” for stress.

 The good news is there are ways around all of them. 

  1. Learn how to be a good customer, and learn how to make a good complaint. Mom said it best. “You get more with sugar than you do with vinegar.” She was right. Hold the temper. No swearing. And, yes, smile. Facial expressions mean so much, especially at this time of the year. Often more than words whether you are on the phone or in person.
  2. Sympathize with the one helping you. Yes, this helps since they get hit with a lot of B.S., grumps, crazies, goof balls, and all sorts. You be the good one. A bit of sympathy and empathy goes a long way with the person helping you.
  3. Ask about return policies in advance or at the time of purchase. Don’t let it be a surprise two months from now. No returns allowed? Might not want to get the item there. Knowing these matters in advance helps a lot. Some places allow exchanges versus returns.
  4. Save receipts. Make notes on them. Make sure you save who you worked with including names, dates and times. Staple the receipt to a large sheet of paper. Keep them in a file – until June.
  5. Stay calm, cool and collected. Rage, anger and loudness won’t help the situation. It only worsens it.
  1. Be Prepared. You’ll often meet up with temporary holiday help, or sadly, those who don’t care. To them it’s just a ‘job’ at the holiday. Realize in advance this can happen. It will help keep your blood pressure in check.
  2. Remember, when you’re making a return or have a complaint, the person you’re working with in all probability is not the person who caused the problem. Why take it out on them? Avoid “emotional leakage,” getting mad at Peter and taking it out on Paul. It is not fair, not right, and definitely not fun.
  3. Finally if you leave an anonymous complaint, either on the phone or online, keep in mind they cannot fix what they do not know. Blasting some company online is only a form of ‘bullying.’ Not a good approach.

Remember what your mother told you, “If you can’t say anything nice; don’t say anything at all.” Now..lemme see all those ‘nice’ comments. Have a wonderful holiday season


Nancy Friedman

Nancy Friedman

Communication and customer service expert Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor, founder and chairman of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, is back in the saddle again. Well, back into live onsite programs, and still offering her ZOOM programs, in a cost saving manner. Whichever you choose, onsite or Zoom, you’ll be glad you did. The reviews are excellent, and audiences have loudly applauded her in either area. Sales, customer service and communication skills are her area of expertise, and she welcomes calls, texts, or emails. You can reach her directly at; through the website at, where you can sign up for her newsletters; or call/text directly at 314-276-1012 central time. Bring it on. Whether you need a keynote speaker or workshop/breakout speaker on customer service and communication skills, you’ll make a great choice.