Author and entrepreneur Seth Godin has a handy suggestion for making complaints — to customer support, bosses or anyone, really — that will actually get heard and acted upon. The secret? Reverse your starting preface, and leave out the word “but”.
Photo by cote.
It’s easy to start off a complaint about your phone or your job by presenting your situation as an angry fact: “I’ve been a customer for X years, and this is ridiculous!” Seth suggests that starting your complaint with a positive assessment of where you’re at, followed by a little opening for improvement, will fare much better:
“In this economy, I’m lucky to have this job, and it’s almost perfect. It would be even better if…”
“I love owning this device, it lets me manage my life and contacts, and the one thing that would make it even better is…”
The important capping point is to never use the word “But” to make the transition between your satisfaction and your one niggling issue.
If customer service calls, in particular, are where you’re getting your high blood pressure these days, try a little reciprocity or being a “better customer”, in addition to some positive-thinking judo, to get your way.
Amplifying complaints [Seth’s Blog]