There comes a time in every person’s life when they need to complain about something. It doesn’t matter if your problem is with a giant corporation, a neighborhood store or any size company in between. The way that you go about finding a resolution should be the same. If you follow these tips you will greatly improve your success rate.
The first thing to remember is to keep your cool. This is very important in the beginning stages of your negotiations when you are most likely to run into road blocks to a reasonable solution. Also at this stage your emotions are usually at their highest. Remember that as you begin your quest it is most likely that the person you are talking with may not even have the authority to make the final decision, so losing your temper with them will not help your cause. Instead you should try to enlist them to your cause with a reasonable approach.
With that said it is also important to take notes all along the way. As soon as you discover that the person you are talking with is unable or unwilling to help you that is when you take out your pen and notebook and in your most calm voice say: “may I please have your name” and write it down next to the time and date. Your next question (also in a calm voice) should be something like: “may I have the name of your supervisor or someone that may be able to help me.” Be sure to ask those questions in that order.
If you have exhausted all attempts to rectify the problem at this point then you should make a dignified retreat. This is for two reasons. One is that you should be sure that you are calm as you plan your next move. The other is that you may need to do some research. Go somewhere quiet and make some notes in your notebook concerning all that has just taken place. Get organized by making sure you have all receipts and paperwork concerning the problem. Confirm all the facts about the situation including a concise description, dates, prices and people you spoke with about the problem. Have a clear idea of how you want the problem resolved. This will help clear your head.
Now is the time to do your research. You should determine who the decision maker in cases like yours is. It could be as simple as the manager of the store or as high as the president or CEO. The internet is the best place to find this information. Some organizations may have a customer service department. You should give them an opportunity to resolve your complaint but let them know politely that you are prepared to take it higher if necessary. Once again, as you talk with each level be sure to ask for a name and contact number for everyone. Do this at the beginning of the conversation.
In all your conversations be as businesslike as possible. Be sure to type all correspondence and include copies of all notes, documentation, photographs and receipts. If it becomes necessary to write to the president or CEO you should send it by Federal Express, UPS or return receipt requested. This will insure a paper trail and it is more likely they will actually read it.
If you are having difficulty resolving your case then you should create a file in order to assure that all documentation is kept intact. Because if you must contact the Better Business Bureau, Consumer Complaint Agency, The Media or seek legal remedies they will want documentation.
To summarize here are the steps for resolving a complaint: 1) Be Cool, 2) Take Notes, 3) Retreat, 4) Get Organized, 5) Research, 6) Be Businesslike, 7) Take It To The Top. If you follow these steps you should get a ruling in your favor.