Complain courteously

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1. Genuine complaints only

When there is a genuine cause for complaint, it is right to complain. It is not proper or fair to complain if we have been annoyed for some other reason and are only doing it to make ourselves feel better.

2. Keep complaints in perspective

When there is no substantial reason to complain, consider how much time and energy you will using up. If it is an insignificant matter, will the act of complaining destroy any satisfaction you have enjoyed? Consider whether the cause was accidental, intentional, minor or serious before complaining – sometimes complaining as a matter of principle will be justified.

3. Do not complain aggressively

Where you have a good reason to make a complaint, do it courteously. It does not give you any right to swear or show aggression. Often, the person to whom you complain will have played no part in the matter and certainly will not have deserved such bad treatment from you.

4. Explain your anger

Sometimes poor service or products can make us angry – this is understandable. It is perfectly reasonable to explain to a member of staff why you are angry, as long as you do not direct this anger at them. Often, they will sympathise with you and do all they can to help resolve the problem. Stand up for your rights, while respecting those of others.

5. Be firm, be polite

If you feel your complaint is not being taken seriously, remain both firm and polite. You may feel your patience is beind sorely tested, but resist the urge to rant, however strong. If you receive a lame response, explain why it does not address your concerns or insist on speaking to a superior member of staff, if necessary. Ultimately, a cool attitude will often achieve a satisfactory result.

. Complain less through courtesy

General courtesy often provides less reason for you to complain, because you attract respect and good service.

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Courtesy toolkit

See the other polite prompts in our please and thanks courtesy toolkit.

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