Sometimes things go wrong. Sometimes you just don’t get what you paid for. Sometimes you should complain. But if you do, there is an art to complaining. Your complaints shouldn’t just be to rant and rave; they should have a goal of spurring change resulting in some sort of compensation for your troubles.
“Complain to get results rather than just venting frustration. Allow your message to frame your disgruntlement of the product/service and explain how it has negatively impacted your customer experience. Be confident and expect a solution to remedy your problem,” explains Shannon Battle, a life coach based in Fayetteville, NC.
Every time you are dissatisfied doesn’t mean you always need to complain. But there are times when complaining is necessary and productive. “You should complain when you have invested time or finances into a product/service that did not meet its intended purpose,” says Battle.
Before you start spieling off a complaint, get your thoughts organized. Have your complaint together along with evidence, if necessary. Decide what it is you’d like the party to do for you in return. “You should state the purpose and intent of your complaint. Speak about the facts and your objective experience. If the location was not comfortable, you should be able to give specific facts that support that complaint,” advises Battle. “Remember, just because you didn’t get the best service doesn’t mean that the business failed to provide quality accommodations. Do not expect something for nothing.”
But if you think you are due some sort of compensation, don’t be afraid to ask for it. “You should expect an incentive to stay with the product/service. All businesses thrive on customer satisfaction so you should review their website and determine if they are meeting their agency vision and mission. If their mission states a comfortable experience by choosing their location, then that is what you should expect. If it doesn’t happen then there should be a fair compensation of the unsatisfying experience,” notes Battle.
Get all the details. “It’s also a good idea to have things in writing and do follow-ups about dates of when you will be compensated. This way you’re very transparent. So when you’re not paid on time and you bring it up as an issue, you can state that you followed a protocol to make sure you were communicating very well,” adds CJ Johnson, a creative strategist for entrepreneurs, companies and entertainment professionals.
So when should you not complain? Assess the situation. Are you dealing with a reasonable person? And does that person have the authority to resolve the issue? “Complaining is a waste of time with someone that cannot offer solutions other than apologizing,” Battle points out.