How to Answer Complaints?
ANOTHER vitally important point - do not argue with anybody. If the customer is in the wrong, show him courteously where he is wrong, but explain, do not argue. If a customer writes you that goods he ordered of you to be sent by express two weeks before, have not been received and that he doubts whether you ever sent them, don’t reply by saying.
“If the goods you ordered have not reached you, it is certainly due to no fault of ours. We sent them promptly and hold the express receipt to prove it. You should know that goods are often lost by the express companies even though the greatest care is shown in preparing them for shipment. Under the circumstances, we think you are hardly warranted in accusing us of not having sent them. When we say a thing you may depend upon it. If you doubt our responsibility or standing, you may write to the First
National Bank of this city or look us up in Dun’s or Bradstreet’s.
“However, inasmuch as you say you did not get the goods, we are duplicating the order and would ask you to notify us if the first order shows up.”
This letter, which is typical of many that go through the mails every day, illustrates not only the bad policy of arguing with your man, but also the mistake of first antagonizing him and giving him “insulted injury” back talk and then in the end granting him what he asks.
If you are going to concede the justice of his complaint at all or if you are going to grant him his claim simply as a favor, do it cheerfully and make the customer realize that you are giving him more than what is justly coming to him.
Write to this man whose goods have not reached him, something in this style.
“Dear Mr. Chapman,
You are certainly justified in complaining over not having received the goods you ordered by express fully two weeks ago. You have been very considerate in waiting so long, and we appreciate fully how you feel about the matter now.
“It seems to us that there can be no question that the fault lies with the express company.
The express receipt we hold shows that the goods were received by them in good condition the very day your order reached us. We knew you were in urgent need of this stock and we made a special request for quick service in selecting and packing it.
“As your experience has probably shown you, many concerns hold that their responsibility ceases the moment the goods are turned over to the express company. However, we always consider the interests of our customer as more important than a technical privilege of this kind and we neverconsider a transaction closed until the goods are received and found to be entirely satisfactory.
“So we are having a duplicate shipment packed and forwarded to you today. We are confident that these goods will reach you almost as soon as this letter, and in perfect condition.
“The matter of delay in the previous shipment we shall take up with the express company at once and shall have them trace the goods. In the meantime, should they chance to reach you we will thank you to return them to us, charges collect.”
There you have an answer that not only satisfies the customer in every point, but it is bound to make him realize that you are more than fair, and the incidental talk about your service gives the letter a little sales agent for “made-to order” clothes to the house he represented. It was to his mind at least, a just complaint. But observe how a correspondent at the house answered it.
By arguing with the man, and attempting to show him how impossible it was for such an accident to occur in the firm’s shop, he virtually accuses the dealer of covering a blunder of his own. Then following all this, though still protesting the firm’s non-responsibility, he admits that they are complying with the request and sending a new pair of trousers. And even more unpardonable, he says in the closing paragraph “promising that this will not occur again,” which practically admits the fault to be the firm’s after all. Is it any wonder that the dealer, who had long been a good and profitable customer, decided at once to place another firm’s sample book on his counter?
But suppose the complaint had been answered in the manner suggested in the third letter. Here the writer immediately concedes the justice of the man’s complaint, expresses sincere regret and without thesuggestion of protestation or argument, shows a cooperative spirit by rushing the new trousers to him. Even though the house may not have been at fault, it recognizes here the value of the dealer’s and the customer’s patronage and friendship. Such a letter would doubtless have meant many a dollar to the firm.
How to Answer Complaints?
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