How To Complain Effectively, IE: Suck It Grandma
I wrote a little funny piece on Tech football the other day. It was just some light humor about some of the misbehavior that has been happening as of late. There was nothing ‘biting’ or mean spirited about it. It was silly at best. Well, I actually got a complaint over the piece, and I just though, “A-ha! A teaching moment”.
So how do you complain effectively? Well don’t start the conversation with “you are such a jerk”. After you’ve called a person a name, they no longer have ANY responsibility to be civil with you. You have already taken the low road and that road leads to assbag town.
Next, understand what you’re arguing about. You know what would have stung a bit? If I was told the bit was unfunny. Instead Grandma complained that it was hurting Tech and that we should be more supportive. Um, Texas Tech does alright. They can take it, and it wasn’t a jab at Tech, it was a jab at the people who misbehave.
Represent yourself as a person who’s opinion has value in the discussion. Guess what? I don’t give a rat’s red butt what a great-granny has to say about what is written on the FMX page. She’s not a listener, never going to be a listener and if she ever was a listener, she bailed when we quit playing The Moody Blues.
It’s hard to phrase this one, but it kind of goes back to number one, but ‘don’t give me a reason to not listen to you”. Do you know how many times I’ve heard “well, I’m not going to listen to your radio station anymore”? Okay, so if you’re not going to use my product or interact with me anymore, then why should I give you what I want? You’re gone, I’m off to help someone who cares.
Lastly, and this is my favorite, give the other person a chance to “be the hero“. Do you want someone else’s help? Then try to get them on your side. I have never lost a fight with an insurance company, not one, not ever. My favorite line to use is “listen, I need help here, you can either put your supervisor on the line now, or you can be the hero and help me out, but I am going to win”. Yes, I literally offer them the chance to be the hero.
So there you have a little glimpse into my radio world, but it is so applicable to everything you do. Let’s look at a situation. Let’s say you got delivered a crappy pizza. Now, I wouldn’t unload all of this at once when you called in, but I’d be ready with:
Hey buddy (don’t be a jerk). I ordered a pizza add it was supposed to have sausage on it (know what you’re arguing about). I’m a loyal customer (be a person of value) and I want to continue to be one (don’t give me a reason to not listen to you). I’d really like you to make this right and send over the proper pizza (give them a chance to be the hero).
You see the pizza guy doesn’t need to be hassled, doesn’t need to know that the lack of sausage ruined your day, that it was your first time ordering, that you may or may not trash them to our friends and they do need to know how to fix it.
Good luck to you. Fight fair and fight positively.