How brands shouldn't respond to your complaint

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So you’ve bought a faulty product, received awful service or had a less-than-stunning experience. What now? Usually, the first port of call is contacting the brand or business’s customer service channels. 

Whether telephonic or digital, there are golden rules that inform how a brand or business should treat your complaint and (more importantly) how they should treat you. 

Read on for six ways organisations should never respond to your complaints, and what you should do about it.

1. They leave you hanging

Customer service teams that take days to respond are a special breed of awful. Not only does it raise red flags about their credibility, but it also shows they don’t give a hoot about their customers. 

In this day and age, with all the resources to support good communication, there really isn’t an excuse for tardy response rates. In fact, many consumers expect a response after just one hour – with six hours being the cut off time for what’s deemed acceptable. Anything beyond that, unless specified, is totally uncool.

2. They read from a script

There are few things more infuriating than airing your grievances only to be met by a canned copy-and-paste phrase or response. No, your message doesn’t find me well, Lerato, I’ve just told you that I received a surprise R10 000 phone bill. No, I won’t give your call centre a ring and be placed on hold for thirty minutes while listening to a panpipe rendition of Nkalakatha, Cynthia, only to have my call unceremoniously dropped. 

While standard responses save a business time and money, they do little to build their humanity. Feeling like you’re talking to a machine when you’re trying to get a real issue resolved is, simply put, the worst.

3. They play pass-the-parcel

Being passed from pillar to post is another thing that gets under our skin. Hands up if you’ve ever spent 30 minutes being bounced between never-before-heard-of departments belonging to your beloved bank. 

Being transferred between call centre agents and community managers is annoying – not only because you need to restate your case each time, but because it’s clear that you’re being made somebody else’s problem. You’re basically being ghosted, but by a customer service agent.

4. They’re rude

This is possibly the worst offender on the Sucky Brand Behaviour list. You’ve paid for shoddy service, you’ve been on hold for ages, and now you’re greeted with disdain and a side order of snark. No thanks.  Almost, but not quite, as bad is apathy. Yes, we all have bad days – but that doesn’t entitle anybody to an IDGAF attitude at work. 

*Remember, however, that this goes both ways. Always treat customer service people with kindness and respect: they’re (mostly) trying their best.

5. They take a chance

There’s a time and place for everything. And when somebody is complaining about being wronged, trying to sell them something during the ensuing conversation is neither the right time nor place. 

Ill-timed upsells are tacky and tone-deaf. And would tick off even the most #namaste of us.

6. They don’t say sorry

Sorry really does seem to be the hardest word. When a brand or business has screwed up they should, at the very least, extend an apology. No apology? Take your hard-earned cash somewhere else, friend. 

If you’ve experienced any of the above, you’re well within your rights to be peeved. Leave a review over at Hellopeter to make others aware of poor service, and to (hopefully) help the brand or business improve their customer service.

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