We can all agree, there is no shortage of reasons to complain. Here’s how to complain and get results without getting a coronary especially when you’re dealing with corporations and other service providers.
What’s the problem? You need to be able to clearly explain what it is. This may require preparation especially if you’re the kind of person who gets nervous in the moment. You don’t want to finally get transferred to a human being after spending forever listening to their annoying wait music only to be unable to communicate what the problem is? If possible determine beforehand what exactly you want. Make sure you have all the necessary information such as your account number at hand before you start the call.
If it’s not a toll-free number, make sure you have enough airtime before you start the call, you don’t want your airtime to run out while you’re on endless hold and then have to start all over again.
Vent and release your frustrations before making the call or writing that email or thread. This will help you identify what the real problem is and stick to it without taking your anger out on the worker who will have to deal with you. Not being rude and mean to the support person you get will also go a long way in helping you get better service.
Be specific about complaint and outcome
Be specific about what you’re complaining about and what outcome you’re looking for. You may have many many problems with their service, but what are you complaining about today? Say you’re complaining about your router, do you want your internet service provider to send a technician to check things out or do you want them to immediately replace your failing router and nothing else? Or do you just want to complain and register your displeasure with their pathetic service?
Make sure your desired outcome is reasonable and don’t lie or exaggerate to make your case appear worse than it is. Keep it honest, succinct and clear.
Be assertive but calm
Once you’ve decided what you want the outcome to be, be assertive and clear. State your case clearly and calmly. Don’t be disrespectful to the person you speak to but also don’t hold back on expressing your frustrations. They are likely just an employee so don’t take out your anger on them.
If you’re complaining by email, maintain a calm tone, resisting the impulse to resort to things like capital letters to express your frustration. In an email, you could also give the company a deadline within which to respond to your complaints. This can go further to show how serious you are and ready to escalate matters should they not act.
Do you have evidence to support your complaints such as receipts, emails or screenshots? Do you maybe have a video of the failing product? If it’s a technical problem they may need you to do something like send them the error messages you’ve been getting. It’s important to have that information ready.
If it’s not something that is immediately fixed, say by the time you get off a call, consider following up. Too many corporations suck at customer care and sometimes they just listen to complaints and don’t follow up on the fixing except when they’re constantly bugged. Following up will show that you’re serious and are one of those customers who just won’t let things slide or go. This could get your problem fixed faster.
If the company doesn’t act in a satisfactory manner even after you have given them sufficient time to do so, consider escalating your complaint to the next office such as the office of the ombudsman if your country has one.
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