complaining etiquette

Just because you have good manners doesn’t mean that you should be a doormat when it comes to raising and resolving an issue. Best advice for complaining etiquette is to be courteous yet firm. Sometimes you can’t be bothered to complain because it is hard work or you don’t want the confrontation.

It is perfectly reasonable to stand up for yourself when necessary. If you feel as though someone or some business has done you wrong, then by all means you should tell them. There is an art to considerate complaining that not only keeps courtesy in mind but is also likely to get you the results you want. Remember, services can’t improve unless the business gets feedback.

When complaining be conscious of your language, tone of voice and, if face to face, your body language. Your message is not only in the words but the way your words come across. Your first reaction may be to raise your voice and take your frustration out on the person you are speaking to or emailing. But take a breath and calmly express your reasons for being upset.

When engaging with your key service providers, its important to remember that the person you’re talking to is unlikely to be responsible for your issue. Being aggressive in your tone and engagement will only make the other party defensive and raise the potential for conflict . The best way to be able to get your result is to remain in control, calm and focussed.

A great tip is to be conscious of the language you use. For example do not use “you” and “your” in your sentences, it’s like verbal finger pointing and it puts people on the defensive. Also do not use emotional language like “I am sick of your service”, and refocus on what the failing is and how it could be improved to meet your expectations.

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