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Try strategies beyond walking out.
Try strategies beyond walking out. / Cultura/Getty Images

Talk about voting with your feet. A Consumer Reports survey found nearly two-thirds of readers had walked out of a store in the past year because of poor customer service. Know what to do if you come up against bad customer service:

Be nice.

It may be challenging, but losing your temper is inevitably counterproductive. Be polite with whomever you’re talking to. If you like a watch someone is wearing, compliment him (a little bit of schmoozing never hurts).

Go online.

A complaint on Twitter or Facebook can attract quick attention. Many companies monitor the Web for issues that may hurt their brand. “If it’s a particularly charged situation, we’ll typically respond within an hour,” says Sander Daniels, manager of customer relations for Thumbtack.com.

Follow the chain.

If you’re dissatisfied, ask to see a supervisor. If things are still sour, talk to the manager. If you’re still unhappy, write a letter to the president of the company.

Drop names.

Don’t hesitate to mention the “other guy.” If, for instance, a salesperson won’t let you use a coupon a day early, say you’re headed straight for the competition. A little leverage can often work wonders.

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