There are many times when a customer may feel they have the right to complain about an employee they have encountered, unfortunately many customers do not know how to make a complaint for the best results.
Occasionally we, as customers, may encounter an poor employee of a business we deal with. This could be a slow waitress, a rude taxi driver, or a lazy sales clerk.
Most people who feel motivated to complain wait a day, or so, then call the owner of the business, or manager. This is wrong for several reasons.
Firstly as the day has past, perhaps the customer has escalated the situation in their own mind, as so often happens when they are with friends and have a bit of a “feeding frenzy”. Sometimes the customer is just having a bad day and looking to take it out on somebody, so they get more upset than they should.
More importantly, though cpmplaining to the employer does not allow the employee to rectify the situation themselves.
As well in some cases the employer is the problem. There are frequent instances where employers cut staffing expenses in order to cut costs, thus a business could be understaffed and as a result the employees cannot keep up, yet the employer is not going to take the blame, and in fact may just take it out on the staff for not keeping up.
In worse situations the employer may be extremely unethical, the type that belittles their employee. When you complain to this type of employer you only add fuel for them to take it out on the staff. This is very common in some industries and when you see an employee who looks like they have low self esteem you can often assume their boss is a bully to them, in fact this could be why the employee gave poor service in the first place.
So.. how does a Customer Complain?
They need to go to the staff person directly. In a calm voice (no need to bully) and one on one (no need to bring your pals and gang up on them) state what you are upset with, and try to be as discrete as possible. For example one might say “I was a bit upset that I needed help but you didn’t seem to notice or be willing to help me.” At this time see how the employee responds. They might not even be aware of the problem, and should apologize accordingly or try to explain their side “Oh, I am sorry, but we are understaffed today as my co-workers phoned in sick, so I am trying to do the work of three people and missed you.”
If, on the other hand, the employee is rude, gets loud, or is argumentative, at that point you should ask to talk to their superior.
Keep in mind that despite the saying, the customer is not always right. Sometimes the customer needs to remember perhaps their attitude was out of place, or that their perception was wrong. It is not uncommon for a customer to think an employee is watching them for concerns of theft, but in fact the employee is only looking to see if the shopper needs help. Perhaps the waitress was slow because the cooks were slow, perhaps the taxi drivers apparent rudeness was actually a misunderstanding, and the seemingly lazy sales clerk could be working a double shift because somebody else did not show up for work.
So remember, if you think you have a legitimate complaint against an employee ask yourself about your attitude, then approach the person directly and offer them a chance to understand your point, and explain themselves or apologize, and only if you are not then satisfied should you speak to their employer. Many situations are just misunderstandings, and people are often fired or belittled for the wrong reasons (simply because a consumer was having a bad day and needed to yell at somebody).
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Published in: Consumer Information