View Full Version : How to respond to customer complaints (Very Long)

09-10-2006, 01:42 AM
Today we're going to learn how to write business letters responding to customer complaints, which is a very handy thing to know. Put down that newspaper article about how some moron managed to off themselves with cotton candy -- which will lead to either an outright banning or at least a convoluted and ridiculous warning on the package, and which will be decided just as soon as Congress wakes up from its nap -- and pay close attention, everyone! Are we all sitting comfortably? Good. Let's begin.

Step 1

Establish a basic message, based on the complaints the customer provided you. If need be, list the complaints and address them one by one. The draft should look a bit like this:

Dear Twit,

Sucks to be you. If you understood the basic premise of commerce, which is that you pay us for goods and services, and not that we pay you to take said goods and services off our hands, we would be able to offer an acceptable level of service. Further, if people were not inclined to steal everything not nailed down and engage in wanton destruction just for the sheer joy of watching things fall down go boom, this building woulld not be disintegrating faster than a Hollywood marriage, nor its contents disappearing like weekend houseguests in an Agatha Christie story.

Some of your complaints were asinine. Get over yourself. If the sight of an errant weed in the parking lot landscaping offends you so, you should consider relocation to a more suitable environment, such as Las Vegas where nothing grows without intense coaxing and a sprinkler system that runs enough to drain Lake Huron every quarter hour. Here in North Carolina, it's all we can do to keep kudzu from snatching random guests in the parking lot and pulling them into the vacant lot next door to feed on their viscera like the demon plant that it is.

In regards to breakfast, if you're going to be that cheap, corners have to be cut somewhere. See above. If you want Hilton service and a breakfast that could feed the entire population of London, stay at a Hilton and go to Shoney's.

Blah Inn of Hendersonville

Step 2

Refine your rough draft. Remove any threats of death or bodily harm, or if you must keep them, reword them so that the reader will be vaguely unsettled without knowing exactly why, without much thought and lying awake at night staring into the dark with a sense of unease.

Your finished product should look something like this:

Dear Guest,

Thank you for bringing to our attention problems you encountered during your stay with us on August 6 of this year. We value our guests’ input and appreciate the chance to make right anything with which our guests might find fault.

Of the issues you have brought to our attention, we can assure you that we have done our utmost to correct all problems that are within our power to fix, including a toilet that was not properly secured to the floor, and overgrown landscaping. We have also since replaced the pillows that you found to be uncomfortable.

In regards to our continental breakfast, throughout the summer we have offered a basic continental breakfast during the week and a full continental breakfast on weekends. We apologize if you found our basic breakfast to be less than adequate.

Unfortunately, some things are beyond our capacity to remedy, and we thank you for your understanding. We agree that the carpet in some rooms does need to be stretched again since its installation a year ago. We would also very much like to replace the two broken spindles in our staircase banister, but we have been unable to find replacements. We apologize if you found the staircase to be too dimly lit, but we can assure you that all of our lighting meets county and state standards.

Again, thank you for bringing these matters to our attention. We understand that your stay with us may have left you with a poor impression of our property, but we would very much like to have you as our guest again in the future, should you find yourself in the Hendersonville area again. We would appreciate the chance to prove to you our commitment to our guests’ comfort.

Blah Inn of Hendersonville