Monday, 3 August 2009

Complaint E-mail produces not a reply, but a visit....

I do love writing complaint letters. You may have guessed from reading Friday's offering. I relish constructing them from start to finish. With complaint letters, it's important to bundle up all the rage you feel and channel it into articulate, clear sentences. Explain what happened, why it was inconvenient, state the facts and highlight how the service you received differs from what you'd expect. Don't ham it up with feelings and personal sob stories, they're see through. Don't eff and blind your way to a response. There's no need to insult anybody, swear, or be rude, about the company or the person you're writing to. Last year I worked somewhere that involved sifting through boxes and boxes of complaint letters, and the ones we took notice of were clear, concise, well written and spell checked. Complaint letters aren't about letting rip with how pissed off you are, they're about expressing your dissatisfaction, explaining what went wrong and eliciting a co-operative response from the person you're writing to.

If you write a good complaint letter, you won't get fobbed off with just an automated apology or standard response. You'll get a reply from someone who genuinely understands that you're angry and wants to resolve the problem so they don't lose business.

(Unless it's BT, in which case...you'll probably just get ignored.)

My complaint e-mail from Friday was a good one. That's not me being big headed. I know it was good because bad complaint letters don't result in the office-based Company Manager standing on your door step, personally delivering your late package as a good will gesture.

As we talked on our driveway, Charlie lay sleepy eyed, stretched out with his paws hanging over the doorstep and doing his best impression of a Non-Dangerous Dog. I explained the situation, he listened. I suggested that customers should be given at least 30 seconds to answer the door and the Manager agreed. He acknowledged that on Friday, I'd had to stay in all day for a delivery that wasn't even attempted. He reassured me that he'll speak to the delivery driver concerned and that there won't be a problem again.

Job done. Customer satisfied.

My new external hard drive is backing up my laptop contents as I type, and my Edward Cullen fix is waiting to be read.

My frustrated mood has almost lifted...

13 comments:

Elaine said...

Well done you!

I've got two complaining students at work at the moment. (Well, they aren't at work, they're on the other side of the world and complaining via email.) Three a day, at least. They won't listen to me! They won't take no for an answer! They are driving me insane!

Wanna come and work at my place?

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Have you tried saying No in a variety of different languages? Charlie does a very good 'NO'. And Job? Yes please, when can I start?

All Mod Cons said...

Good skills! And a fine end result. You are completely right with the points about writing a decent letter, and complaining in general. I prefer the telephone approach. Whilst it doesn't give you time to mull over what you want to say, if you can think on your feet and articulate yourself properly then you can sometimes get a result right there and then. Although this hasn't quite worked with Apple...yet.

theperpetualspiral said...

Result Jo, well done :)

Ellie said...

I wish to write a complaint.

Perpetual spiral nicked my comment.

Now I'm commentless.

Ummmpph. (Too emotional?)

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

All Mod - Oh, I'm likely to burst into tears if I make a telephone call. At least thats what happened with the overpayment situation. Although sometimes that does work in your favour (if you're a girl)

Perp - Why thank you!

Ellie - Oh, come here, you. Let's all have a hug. There we go. See? Situation resolved. Again.

Scarlett Parrish said...

Dearie me. An epic writer of epic complaint letter epicness...and you read Edward Cullen novels?

*hides her own copy*

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Two words:

Guilty Pleasure!

Scarlett Parrish said...

Too bloody right. And after reducing someone to a grovelicious visit to your doorstep, then you should bloody well enjoy it!

Perhaps you could hire yourself out as a professional complainer?

There's bound to be a market for it, and you could take out your ire on random people while raking in the cash from would-be complainants.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

There's no need to insult anybody, swear, or be rude?! Why, that's very British of you! I think that sometimes people just want to vent their spleens without expecting or needing a response.

Robbie said...

I wonder if the delivery drivers will all have to go through a "door bell ringing training session"?

All Mod Cons said...

Sobbing girls? Just as well I'm not on Customer Service, you'd get a roll of the eyes and a sigh! ;-)

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Scarlett - Professional Complainer. Imagine that was actually your job title. Do you think that would make me more or less employable? haha! Imagine seeing that at the top of someone's CV...

Unbearable - I think even the most venemous venters secretly want to be acknowledged. Or at least get a freebie out of it ;)

Robbie - I certainly hope so. I think they need it.

All Mod - Oh, you big meanie!

 

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