Complaint Letter--How to Write an Effective Letter of Complaint
5 Tips for Writing an Effective Complaint Letter
1) Write to the head honcho.That means the CEO. "The buck stops with him," says Silverman. Finding his name and address is easy—just do an online search of the company. Of course, odds are CEOs don't sit around opening their own mail, but their assistants do. "And if the assistants see merit in your complaint, they'll personally bring it to their boss' attention." You've just cut out about ten middle men.
2) Give the good, then the bad.No matter how upset you are, don't let your emotions spill all over the page. "Nobody likes to get an angry letter," says Silverman. "It's counterproductive." Who wants to help someone who's yelling at them, even on paper? A better approach is what he calls "praising with faint damn." In other words, praise first, explain why you're not happy second. Let the CEO know that you're a loyal customer and like the company, but this time they've let you down. Then lay out the problem in a friendly way. "Write very personally, as if talking to an old friend," says Silverman. "And be as specific as possible—names, dates, times, what went wrong."
3) Stand out from the crowd.A few tricks can help your letter get noticed. "Use underscores, italics, bold and indents to emphasize key points," says Silverman. It's a subliminal way of catching the reader's eye. Humor works, too. If you can think of something funny to say, say it. "I've even been known to include a cartoon—if I can find a relevant one online—to share my plight."
4) Ask for compensation."That's the one thing people miss," says Silverman, who is amazed that most complaint letters articulate the problem, but don't state the solution. "Spell out exactly what you want in compensation for your troubles," he urges. "If you don't ask, you don't get!"
5) Don't give up.Silverman can recall only one time when he didn't get an answer to one of his letters. "Good companies are almost always responsive to a complaint letter," he says. "They may not agree with your complaint, but they will respond." If it's a form letter, though, don't settle. "Whenever that happens to me, I write back—noisily," Silverman says. Ratchet up the idea that they might lose you as a loyal customer. A hit to their bottom line? Now that's something every company can understand. Eventually you will get results.
Video: General Education & Teaching Tips : How to Write an Effective Complaint Letter
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