One complaint …two very different replies

Handling complaints

Initially I was reluctant to complain but I felt it was necessary. From what I was told I believed we were really hard done by, we received some really bad treatment and if I just let it go the same would happen again and again.

I was raging and I felt I had to do something to address this situation.

I felt it was really important to address what I felt were serious issues so I wrote a strong complaint email outlining all of my concerns to the person involved.

Reply number 1

The person I wrote to handled the situation perfectly (even if he felt like shooting me !)

He called me, assured me that my complaints were not valid but wanted to hear what I had to say because what I had complained about was very serious and he wanted to get to the bottom of it.  We had a rational conversation, he listened to my grievances and I listened to his replies. By the end of the conversation we hadn’t solved everything, all of the issues hadn’t disappeared but he understood why I felt annoyed and aggrieved and I appreciated that I was listened to.

I was raging when I complained but now I had calmed down because I was listened to.

Reply number 2

Because it was a serious issue my man sent a copy of my complaint email to his boss.

While he was busy trying to contact me to try to sort out this issue his boss was busy with a different approach.

Instead of taking my complaint seriously and wanting to listen his boss sent an angry email responding to me.

Effectively it read “How dare you make any such accusations about us and how we do our business. You are unprofessional to have done such a thing and never dare to complain again”

Hmmm..how did I feel now?

I was raging when I complained but now I was even worse.

His boss had zero interest in what I had to say, denied everything, enquired about none of the circumstances that led to me complaining and instead of treating me with some degree of courtesy and respect and wanting to genuinely listen a choice was made to attack.

This situation was really interesting as we had two different individuals taking quite a different approach to dealing with a complaint.

No one likes to receive complaints but we need to treat them like gifts, listen and learn and then deal with them in a way that diffuses the situation instead of making them even worse.

In my scenario this ‘boss’ needs to take a few lessons from the staff member ..

How you handle complaints is a critical part of maintaining the Reputation of both you and your organisation.

Defuse, don’t inflame

Greg Canty

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

 

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