Receiving poor customer service and deciding to make a complaint is an emotional and frustrating experience. We have all been there and had to deal with it.
There is some good news; the quest for complaint resolution doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it can be quite a simple process if you follow a systematic approach. Let’s have a look how.
The great thing about complaining over the phone, is that it’s less confrontational, so if you aren’t great with confrontations, it’s the best place to start.
When complaining over the phone, make it short and sweet and be clear on what the complaint is about. You are less likely to get an outcome if the conversation is convoluted or you are angry and hostile. Being concise also minimises the amount of time you will have to spend running around and following up on the complaint.
TIP: Once you have finished the phone conversation, make sure you record the date and time that you spoke to the operator, their name and position title or reference number.
WHY THE PHONE FIRST? The phone provides a great option to ensure that they must follow-up with you. If they don’t provide a suitable outcome, you have more ammunition to use when following up your complaint.
If you don’t back within an appropriate amount of time (within 3-5 business days) the next best technique is to follow-up with a letter (either electronic or snail mail). A letter is a more formal means of communication, than the phone and helps to provide hard evidence as to why your complaint is justifiable. It also starts a formal communication thread between you and the company.
In the letter, the following structure is recommended:
1. Explain your loyalty to the company:
Start off by being positive and stating the fact that you are a long serving customer. By being positive you are getting the organisation on your side and it helps to demonstrate to the organisation the benefits of retaining you as a customer.
2. Commence your complaint:
Now that you have explained who you are and your relationship to the company, commence your complaint. You should clearly explain how the issue negatively affected you, from an emotional, physical or financial point of view.
By providing key examples, it makes it more difficult for the firm to ignore your complaint. Using dot points is a great way of clearly identifying and separating your issues with the organisation.
3. State your terms:
Conclude the letter by stating your terms and what you are seeking in order to rectify the complaint. Ensure you are being reasonable, outrageous terms will most likely be ignored. If you have expenses that have been incurred as a result of the complaint, include them as attachments to your letter – any evidence helps to support your complaint!
TIP: Include a date as to when you wish to hear back from the firm. This ensures that they are more likely to get back to you.
At the same time of sending out the complaint letter, go online. Express your grievances publically and explain what the organisation needs to do to resolve your complaint. Often the people handling social media are different to those who receive the traditional letter complaints.
If you don’t hear back from the company within the date set above, follow up with third parties such as ombudsmans’. The ombudsmans’ are great as they have direct contacts as to who they need to speak to at the firm – also their services are FREE!
Furthermore, the ombudsmans’ contacts at the organisation are at a higher level than those who first receive your complaint. They therefore have more authority and are able to provide further resolution. Note: the ombudsman cannot do anything unless you have previously raised these complaints with the relevant business.
If you still feel that a complaint is justifiable, but don’t have the time or energy to complain, let service marketing professionals such as Vent2Me facilitate it on your behalf. For a small fee, these firms can act on your behalf to ensure your complaint gets answered.