Monday, February 22, 2010

The Squeaky Wheel

It always amazes me how folks will complain to their family, friends and colleagues about the customer service fiascos they encounter, but they never complain directly to the source of their dissatisfaction. I’m a firm believer in letter writing – be it an old-style hard copy letter to a company or a website comment area and yes, I even break it down in the Google reviews for the vendor in question. I also read Better Business Bureau reviews for businesses I want to engage to avoid some of the hassles that may arise – hey, if someone else is bitching about the business, then maybe I should avoid them. All said, we have to be proactive with regard to bad customer service. Let folks know (in writing) what you are dissatisfied with.

So here are the simple steps to follow BEFORE engaging any organization where you’ll be spending more than a hundred dollars for their goods/services:

1. Check out their Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating and any customer comments about the business
2. Google the organization and read customer reviews
3. Call their customer service department and ask questions – hey, if they’re rude before you do business with them, imagine how you’ll feel when they have your money


If you have to engage a company to rectify an issue, follow these steps:

1. Call their customer service department; get the name of the person you speak with BEFORE you begin detailing the issue and be concise about relaying what your problem is and what you need; keep your emotions in check
2. Google organization and post a review about your experience; keep your review to the facts; do not use profanity; explain what went wrong;
3. Go to the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org) and file a complaint
4. Write a letter to the organization’s President/CEO and to their customer service manager(s); be clear, but keep it short; no profanity; leave out your emotions; simply write what went wrong and what they can do to resolve the issue


Your family and friends may be a great resource to vent, but if you want a resolution to your customer service disasters, go to the source. Remember that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

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