Did you notice that some people always get what they want when they complain? Even though companies’ representatives are trained to handle consumer complaints without giving up any ground, some people get what they want anyhow. Why? Well, complaining is a form of art. Unfortunately, in our everyday life, we have many opportunities to practice effective complaining.

Things do go wrong and sometimes it becomes a necessity to voice our dissatisfaction. Keep in mind that as consumers we are severely outgunned when it comes to complaining. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014 there were 2,581,800 customer service representatives in the US. Each of these individuals is trained to tell you “No”, but in a nice way. So, how do you complain effectively to get the results you want? To answer this question, we need to look at two aspects of complaining: the content of your complaint and the ways you use to complain. Before you reach out to the company, you need to do some prep work.

How To Complain Effectively

How To Complain Effectively

Stay Organized

Have all the facts, records, notes, and receipts handy. Have a file folder or binder with all paperwork, if necessary. It sounds a bit like a red tape, but no one has ever suffered from piling up the copies of related documents, reservation confirmations as well as receipts when filing customer complaints. Such a thorough preparation is definitely a feather in the cap of those willing to hit the battlefield.

Know exactly what you want

It is very hard for any company to give you what you want if you are not sure what you want. Write down your desired outcome and communicate your demand to the other side clearly.

Know why you deserve what you are asking for

Simply stating what you want will not be enough. You will need to be able to explain to the other side why you are entitled to what you are asking for.

Know where to complain

Talking to an IT department when you got the wrong-size shoes will not help you. Figure out the correct department to contact and a subject matter expert to give you a helping hand. Narrow down your choice by targeting the most related websites that deal with types of complaints your query is similar to.

Here, we present a short list of platforms where you can leave a feedback and share your thoughts with the world:

  • Yelp.com: this platform will help you if you are at a loss and have no clue how to write a review about a local business. Has the courier not delivered your book on time? What if the dry cleaners spoilt your favorite cashmere sweater? At Yelp, every company has a rating that allows users to add a positive or negative image of the brand via crowd-sourced comments.
  • Tripadvisor.com: what if you went dining and had a bad experience? The waiters were rude, your cannelloni were served cold and, to wrap it up, you were waiting for the bill for too long. It is reasonable to get your hands on this platform when you have something to say about the restaurant or hotel service and any other travel related issue you faced while trotting the globe or just going for a casual beer with friends in your city.
  • Pissedconsumer.com: the name speaks for itself. Here, you will find many people complaining of the variety of companies both bricks and clicks as well as mortar businesses. At pissedconsumer you can find different complaints raised by people who expressed their dissatisfaction with auto dealerships or online merchants.

Stay calm and be polite

Getting angry does not accomplish anything but damage to your nerve cells. Besides, the aggressive behavior will most likely put the other side on the defensive, making resolving your complaint almost impossible.

Know what to do next

Have a plan of what to do next if your complaint is not resolved. Clearly communicate to the other side all disadvantages of not finding the solution to your problem, such as bad reviews, lost business, lost referrals, formal complaints to regulatory agencies, etc. At the same time, give the other side clear incentive to work with you.

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal, medical, accounting, investment, or any other professional advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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