Most of us have experienced bad service at some point. Sometimes there’s no point making a complaint – you should simply take your custom elsewhere. Other situations really deserve a formal complaint. This can be very confusing and intimidating, and many people just give up. So here are some tips on how to make a complaint and reach a successful outcome.
1. Follow Correct Procedure
When making a written complaint, you should follow the procedure set out by the company you wish to complain to. It is generally expected that you exhaust the company’s own complaints procedures before taking your case to governing bodies or industry watchdogs; this may be frustrating but will help ensure that your complaint is taken seriously.
2. Know Who to Speak to
When you want to make a complaint, you need to know who is the right person to deal with. It won´t do any good talking to someone who doesn´t have the power to rectify the problem. You will most likely need to speak to the manager, rather than a sales assistant who is not trained to deal with complaints.
3. Know What You Want
The smart complainer knows what outcome he or she is looking for. Do you want a formal apology, a replacement, a review of company procedures or for the item to be repaired? Also find out what your rights are, so that you can point out what you are entitled to.
4. Stay Calm
Sometimes we get such dreadful service from companies that it is very difficult not to lose your temper when you make a complaint. However, this will not help your case, so stay calm. If you get angry, you´ll probably be yelling at the wrong person, and no-one will be inclined to assist an aggressive customer.
5. Just the Facts
When you want to make a complaint, don’t get emotive. Stick to relating the facts and detail your reasons for complaining. While still providing clear information, try to be concise, so that the details are clear.
6. Check before Sending
If you´re making a formal written complaint, it´s tempting to dash off a letter or email and send it while the issue is fresh in your mind. However, this runs the risk of being emotional or of missing out an important point. Read over your letter before sending it, so that you are satisfied it includes everything you want to say.
7. Be Persistant
Companies often rely on people giving up after they make a complaint. Taking on a large company can be a slow and frustrating process, but speaking from experience I can say that persistance does pay. Perhaps they give up because they realise you are not going to, so keep at it!
Any documents relevant to your complaint should be kept safe, so that you can provide evidence to support your grievance. Without such documents, it may come down to your word against someone else´s. Also keep a written record of events, phone calls, dates and times, as these may be of considerable use in supporting your claim.
It´s not always easy to know how to make a complaint, and people often prefer to avoid the hassle. However, these tips will help, so even if you don´t have any gripes at the moment, bookmarking this post is bound to be useful at some point in the future. So when the need arises, you will know exactly how to make a complaint! Have you ever taken on a company and won?
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