Customer service is going to be a ‘hot topic’ in Rwanda for many years to come. Somehow, we are all service providers one way or the other. We all have something to sell or buy and therefore deserve good service.
Complaining about poor service is every consumer’s right. I am glad that today many customers in Rwanda know this; thanks to the huge campaign from government or private institutions on the need to refuse poor service. As a customer when you keep silent about poor service, you are encouraging the service provider to continue offering that kind of service. But then, how do you give feedback on service effectively?
Apart from the obsolete ‘SUGGESTIONS’ boxes, today there are simpler and fastest ways of complaining such as writing, emailing, using social media etc. In today’s modern world, the most popular form of giving feedback around me is without any doubt social media. Usually, customers are prompted to complain by the frustration and injustice they feel they have faced. Most dissatisfied customers do not wait for their anger to diminish before they complain.
Always remember that it is not because you have easy access to social media on our phones that In order to complain effectively, there are basic principles that one should consider even before one takes advantage of the easy access to social media. Here are few tips to make your complaints yield positive results:
- Be factual and precise
The main reason we complain is to have solutions to our problems. It is important we describe the situation as it happens without exaggerating. State when, how, who, etc so that the receiver understands the issue well. Remember, the one receiving feedback is probably not the person you dealt with directly. As time is money, value the time of the reader by avoiding the long stories. Be precise.
- Be polite
No matter how genuine the complaint is, it is paramount to remain polite in the way we complain. If you use abusive or insulting words, your complaint will lose its effect. Avoid being emotional and hostile to the reader because being enraged will simply kill the complaint itself.
Treat the person you speak or write to with respect. Remember, you can catch more flies with sugar than with vinegar. So make the person you are complaining to a partner and not an enemy.
- Be patient and persistent
One email or one post on the company’s twitter account might not be sufficient if you want a solution. Especially as most of these organizations just create their social media pages without necessarily having someone manage them. You might need to be persistent and send several reminders until the service provider sees or reads your complaint.
- Take the case further
In case your complaint is not dealt with, consider taking it to the manager and even the CEO. You could also write to the media, publish an official complaint in the newspapers or post that complaint online on a website that has influence. For instance, you could join The ServiceMag Facebook group page www.facebook.com/groups/TSM.TellUS where most customers with a compliment or complaint are linked directly to service providers.
Until we get associations in Rwanda that protect consumers and advocate for their rights, know that it is our individual and collective responsibility to seek for good service. Use your right to refuse poor service. Complain positively so that it can help raise the level of service delivery in Rwanda.
By Sandra Idossou