Last week we discussed the importance of customer satisfaction and knowing when a complaint is justifiable. This week we look at how to successfully make a complaint to an organisation!
1. Engage with the operator via phone:
Receiving poor customer service and deciding to make a complaint is an emotional and frustrating experience. Therefore when you first decide to go and make a complaint – you shouldn’t have to go out of your way to start the complaint process.
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. Being clear or concise also minimises the amount of time you will have to spend running around and following up on the complaint.
TIP: Once you are off the phone make sure you record the date that you spoke to the operator, the time you spoke to them and their name and position title.
WHY THE PHONE FIRST? The phone provides a great option to ensure that the firm must follow-up with you, if they don’t provide a suitable outcome, you have more ammunition to use when following up your complaint.
2. Follow-up via letter:
If you haven’t heard back from the firm within an appropriate amount of time, the next best technique is to follow-up via a letter (either electronic or snail mail). A letter is more formal than the phone and helps to provide hard evidence as to why your complaint is justifiable.
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 you make it more difficult for the firm to ignore your complaint.
3. State your terms
Conclude the letter by stating your terms and what you are seeking to rectify the complaint. Ensure you are being reasonable, outrageous terms will most likely be ignored by the firm. If you have expenses that have been occurred 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.
3. Follow-up with third parties
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!
Make sure that you vent your frustrations and complaint process on our blog, we would love to hear how you found the complaint process and what the firm did to rectify it.
5. Contact us
If you still feel that a complaint is justifiable, but don’t have the time or energy to complain let the team at Vent2Me facilitate it on your behalf. For a small fee we can write letters, develop scripts and provide other handy tips to ensure your complaint gets answered.
Until next week,
Cents and Sensibility
Julia Taine, Executive Director of Vent2Me, is a marketing problem solver and mentor. A mover and a shaker, Julia sees a niche in an industry, and takes it, by making it her own. Julia started Vent2Me, because people she knew were struggling with their online presence and their digital strategies. Julia knew she could help these people, and so here she is today.