When retailers fail to deliver, the frugal among us find it doubly insulting. Others spent cash. We also invested time & energy. After all, we don’t spend frivolously. Endcaps are not designed for us. We decided to let go of our $$ for this item. And, now, those dollars are wasted. We feel cheated. SOMEONE is going to pay!!!
There is an art to turning frustration into compensation and it starts with,
1) Do nothing.
What? I’m angry, I’m mad. And you want me to “Do Nothing?”
Yes, exactly. Because you are angry, mad, frustrated. Those emotions generate more of the same from the person on the receiving end, and most times, little else. Seldom do I address the issue at the store level. If they delivered customer service, I wouldn’t have an issue. This is the time to take notes, record the event in your mind, get names, dates, times, etc. Venting is great for relieving frustration. It is not great for achieving results.
Let me give you an example. You’ve had a lousy meal. When you pay your bill the person asks, “How was everything?” You reply, “Our food was cold and we had to send out an SOS to find our server.” He chuckles, “Yeah, Susie oughta be retired but the dot.com bust did her in.”
This is not a person who will deliver any satisfaction. Pay your bill and get his name, too.
2) Once you’re calm, it’s time to write the company. Check out their website. See what their mission statement is. If it’s a small company without a website, call and find out who the owner is so you can send a letter.
3) Start with a compliment.
“Are you serious? A compliment? This is a complaint! I don’t have anything nice to say!!!”
Find something. You chose that merchant for a reason. State it. Remember, anger is not part of this equation.
EX: “I love your grilled bananas. No one else has anything close. (wisely, I might add)
3) State the visit details – date, time, person(s) you interacted with. Be a reporter. Give facts, not feelings about the situation.
EX: On April 11 at 11:18 am, receipt #12867597, I visited your Southpole location for those yummy grilled bananas. We were not seated for ten minutes because the greeter was on his cell phone discussing the Mavericks chances this year. When we were seated, our server, Susie, yelled across the room, “Hang on.” We hung on for another ten minutes. We ordered and waited twenty minutes. Our grilled bananas were cold charcoil briquets. We couldn’t locate Susie, or anyone else. The water we had to request did have a nice, cold, not-too-chloriney taste, however.
4) Now, you can express some feelings, in your sweetest, most respectful way of course.
EX: We left very disappointed because we had accumulated our coupon savings for over three weeks to enjoy this treat.
5) Tell ’em why you wrote.
EX: I understand that you can’t be on site all the time, and wanted you to know about our poor experience. With all the competition out there serving yummy grilled bananas I know you want to deliver a great experience so customers come back.
6) Close with more kind words.
EX: I hope my information will help you so next year your grilled banana sales triple.
Now, who could ignore that? YOU are not complaining! YOU care about THEM. YOU are helping THEM improve their business! YOU are a wonderful human being worthy of a reward!
8) Go enjoy your results, be they a coupon, gift card, or refund.
Will you always win? No. Will you win more often than not? Absolutely. And, a reward is far more satisfying than telling ten of your friends or getting it off your chest!