Thursday, March 13, 2014

National Geographic Should Know...

They've been traveling since the invention of the wheel.

"How to be the World's Smartest Traveler" by Christopher Elliott  National Geographic   $19.95   287 pages 

You have a complaint?  Try to solve it right then and there.  Call the front desk, use the call button for the flight attendant, talk to the purser on the cruise ship.

Can't solve it then and there?  Write a letter.  A well-written complaint spelling out all of the necessary details such as reservation confirmation, dates -- and BTW save any of these in Saved Mail.  You can print them out to take with you, but save a copy for the future when you may have to cite these details.

DON'T USE ALL CAPS.  Online all caps are considered shouting.  I doubt that you would stand in the CEO's office and shout at him. 

Don't make threats.  You're an airline agent and you're being asked for help and the person's letter says, "I hate your airline!  I'll never, ever fly God's Wings Air again!"  You, the airline employee, will snort and toss it in the wastebasket.  Why bother to help if they're never going to fly God's Wings again? 

Back to the letter - write tight, no more than 500 words.  Adapt a polite tone and use proper grammar.  A misspelled, unpunctuated rant doesn't really make the writer look good.  In fact, it makes them look stupid and to a degree, invalidates the complaint because it causes great doubt about the customer's intelligence in the first place. 

Use their own set of rules against them.  Airlines have contracts of passage; cruise lines have ticket contracts and car rentals have rental agreements.

You won't get a favorable response if you complain and don't offer a solution.  Spell out what you expect in compensation and temper this request to fit the complaint.  "The maid was rude" isn't going to get you upgraded to a suite with an open mini-bar. 

The best way to express all of the above is:  honey catches more flies than vinegar.  And if you can be funny, throw that in, too.  Most people don't choke out a "no" when they're laughing. 

No comments: