One of the most common misconceptions about resolving a service problem is that it’s hard work. It doesn’t have to be.
A recent survey from search specialist Aurix found that 70 percent of complaints made to call centers are not being heard, and more than 96 percent of consumers said they would consider switching to a competitor as a result.
That’s a lot of customers working hard, for nothing.
Here are a few strategies for reducing — or even eliminating — the amount of work that goes into a grievance.
1. Resolve it in person. Direct, real-time contact with an employee is almost always preferable to dealing with a call center. It’s easier and much faster.
2. Use e-mail, not letters or faxes. Not only is e-mail more efficient for filing a grievance that can’t be handled in person, but it takes less effort to send the complaint and track it. Paper letters and faxes are more expensive and time-consuming.
3. Be brief. Many customers go into great detail about their problem when they write to a company or try to resolve the problem in person. But there’s no need to do a lot of heavy lifting. Just keep it short and summarize your problem.
4. Don’t overresearch the problem. Many grievances cite chapter and verse of state or federal law that has allegedly been violated, in an effort to get their problem fixed. But usually, the thing that matters most is that you had a negative customer experience. And that can be stated in a short sentence.
5. No stalking. Once you’ve filed your complaint, be patient. It can take a week or two for a meaningful response from a company. Following up after a few days adds to your work and prevents the customer-service agents from getting theirs done.
(Photo Red/Flickr Creative Commons)