The best way to complain

Nowadays 76% of people are likely to complain about poor service- so what is the best way to do it?The Institute of Customer Service asks 26,000 people, twice a year, about the quality of customer service in the UK.

It says people tend to find “putting it in writing” the least satisfying approach, rated by respondents at 68 out of 100.

Phoning scores slightly higher, at 74 out of 100.

But the most popular approaches are doing it on the web (scored 79 out of 100) or in person (80 out of 100).

Customers were quick to take to social networks to tweet their frustration. Jo Causon, chief executive of the Institute of Customer Service, says technology has shifted the power balance back to the consumer.

“Social media has really changed the whole landscape, because now it is immediate and very visible,” she argues.

“So if you and I actually complain, rather than it being just to my friend, or my neighbour or my husband- now that’s actually over the whole of the world.”

She says this forces businesses to respond as quickly as possible.

But her advice is not to rule out more traditional approaches and use the method appropriate to the first conversation or contact with the company.

“So if I’d bought it online, I’d go back online. If I bought the object in a shop or face-to-face, I’d go back through that particular route,” she says.

“There isn’t a best way to complain, the important thing is that you do,” she points out.

She says that overall, customer satisfaction has gone up over the last three years, but the main gripes are about organisations not keeping their promises, staff attitude, or the quality of the product.

She has three main tips for getting a good result:

1- Be clear about what you’re complaining about.
2- Be calm and look for a resolution, be clear about what you want.
3-If you don’t get your complaint answered, escalate it.”

No matter how people choose to do it, companies need to pay attention to complaints as research show two thirds of us will not use a business again after a bad experience.