Have you ever wanted to complain about poor service, but didn't have the nerve? Or you did complain but couldn't get a satisfactory resolution? Perhaps you never know who to complain to. If you make a complaint, you need to go about it the right way, or your complaint may be ignored. Here are some tips on the best way to go about complaining when you get poor service …
1. Be Factual
When writing a letter of complaint, stick to the facts. We've all seen these highly colorful letters that get shared on social media. They may be very amusing, but resist making your letter more like a creative writing exercise. You want people in charge to take you seriously, and be able to identify what you're complaining about, not have to wade through pages of irrelevant comments.
2. Be Specific
Be specific about the nature of your complaint. Clearly state the problems, and avoid making irrelevant comments. If your complaint is that your server talked on their phone and ignored you, say that. Don't make personal comments about their appearance or be insulting, or you'll be labeled as an awkward customer.
3. Complain to the Right Person
Find out who you need to complain to. Addressing your complaint to the right person avoids your letter being discarded because you've sent it to someone who doesn't have any authority to act. The right person is usually not the managing director, who has far more important things to deal with than an unhappy customer's complaint about a broken appliance.
4. Follow Complaints Procedure
If the company has a complaints procedure, then follow it. You may be tempted to bypass this, but the only outcome is that you'll be told you need to follow the correct procedure. Large companies may have various stages that need to be followed one by one.
5. Stay Polite
However irate you are, always stay polite. This will help ensure that your complaint is taken seriously. If you lose your temper and insult people, they'll be more inclined to dismiss you as an awkward customer. Rudeness will probably mean that they refuse to listen to you any further; they have no incentive to retain you as a customer if you behave rudely.
6. Your Desired Outcome
Be clear about what outcome you are seeking, and be realistic. Do you want a staff member to undergo retraining, or for the company to review procedures? Are you seeking a replacement for something you've bought? Don't be greedy and ask for something that's out of proportion to the problem.
7. Know Your Rights
It will also help if you know what your consumer rights are. Companies sometimes rely on customers being ignorant of their legal entitlement and are therefore dismissive. If you can quote your legal rights (be specific about the legislation), they will have to take you more seriously, as you are demonstrating that you know the law and what they need to do.
It may be best to complain at the time, so that something can be done to rectify the situation straight away. If you complain later, put your complaint in writing, so that there is a record of your complaint. Be concise and to the point. What's the worst example of customer service you've ever experienced?