It’s easy to jump up and down when things go wrong and take to social media to vent those frustrations but will that get you any real results? Do you need to be a human encyclopedia of every single bit of consumer legislation in order to be able to be successful in your complaint? The short answer to both of these questions is no. If you want to succeed, you just need to complain simply but effectively and know where to source information and help. Work smarter not harder to make your consumer complaint stand out- and get results.
Keep emotion out of it
Stick to the facts and be clear and concise in the points you make. Clarity is really important. Take the time to check that the readability of your complaint. Ensure there are no spelling mistakes and it is grammatically correct. Summarise the issue in bullet points at the end of your email or letter. This will make it easier for the person who is dealing with your complaint to resolve the issue. Companies do not need to know your life story; just the facts of the case in question.
Ranting on social media may draw attention to your complaint but contacting the company privately via Twitter DM or Facebook messages is quicker, easier and more effective. Most companies on Twitter have open DMS so you don’t have to follow each other in order to message them. If you do tweet or comment, then the same rules of precision apply- be objective, stick to the facts and keep your complaint firm but fair.
Know your rights and quote the relevant legislation
You don’t need to be a human encyclopedia to be able to complain effectively but it is useful to be able to quote relevant legislation to support your case. Lots of information is just a click or two away and can be obtained through simple online searches using key words.
Support is also available via platforms such as Complain.biz, which connects businesses with their customers to resolve complaints through an effective and transparent process. In addition to the company itself, the Complainbiz community can help to resolve a complaint or problem and the website is the ideal marketing tool for companies to show they take complaints seriously.
It’s worth remembering the staple regulations such as the Magnuson- Moss Warranty Act (USA) and The Consumer Rights Act (UK) which cover a wide range of situations. Under the rules for this act, goods need to be fit for purpose, as described of satisfactory quality and last a reasonable length of time. If they aren’t, then you have grounds for a no quibble refund accordingly.
State what action needs to be taken and clear time frames
The most effective complaints are made in writing so if you make any initial calls then always follow up the complaint by email or letter. State what action you expect in order to be able to rectify the problem and restore your faith in the company in question. This could be a refund, replacement, repair, goodwill gesture or just a simple apology. Give a clear time response for a reply (usually 7 working days) and ensure that any follow up action is taken. Stick to your guns with regard to your rights and expectations as to how the situation should be resolved. Don’t be fobbed off.
State consequences for failure to resolve issue
In some instances the customer service response is not acceptable. In your complaint you should state what action will be taken should the company not be able to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction within the given time frame. For example, if you requested a refund and this is not forthcoming then state that should it not be received then you will seek to recoup costs through method of payment. Alternatives for further action include forwarding your complaint to the CEO or Head Office, taking your case to the small claims court or using the services of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) schemes. CEO contact details can be found via https://www.ceoemail.com.
Collate evidence to support your complaint
It might seem tedious but is important to keep a record of all evidence including telephone calls, references, dates and times to support your complaint. If applicable, make a record of what you agreed, when, where and with whom. This is particularly important if you do decide to escalate your complaint or initiate a claim in the small claims court. Keep any photographic evidence and copies of all correspondence in chronological order. The more organised you are in the preparation of a clear and well-supported complaint, the easier it will be to achieve the desired result.
Please note that this is a sponsored post. All views and opinions are my own.