Posts from 2015-09-21

How to Write a Complaint – Basic Customer Service Tips

Customer service tips

Richard Branson, indubitable entrepreneur and philanthropist, is widely regarded as one of the world’s most successful businessman. Rightly so, Branson is very concerned with the handling of customers’ complaints and discusses his protocol in an article written by him regarding customer service tips on the Virgin website:

Having once received what many regard as the world's best complaint letter, I was tickled to see another brilliant note to a different airline. I phoned the customer who wrote the above note to apologise and thank him for his letter after he experienced a less than perfect culinary experience on board one of our planes. It is important to take customer feedback on board in order to improve and also to be able to laugh at yourself.

… making customer service key to your company will keep your employees motivated and your customers happy. This in turn ensures enduring loyalty, business success and a better experience for everyone.

The key point that Branson makes here is that he was immediately ready to personally engage with the complainant to find resolution, surely one of the most valuable customer service tips one can get. Not only this, but he didn’t take himself too seriously along the way, making his line of communication open and agreeable. Branson also points out the fact that providing good customer service is integral to keeping employees motivated and customers satisfied.

Essentially, he highlights the importance of dealing with complaints and how it can very positively affect how well a company functions.


So you want some good customer service tips and want to know the right way to write a complaint? CustomerCare.org provides users with forms that help you hone the way you format your complaint, but there’s also the opportunity to write a traditional complaint letter in the Describe Your Complaint section of the form, on the main page. Businessballs.com points out that there are five important points to remember whilst you’re writing your complaint letter, providing a treasured source of customer service tips; your letter should be:

  • Concise – so your letter can be understood quickly.
  • Authoritative – if your letter is well written and proficiently presented then it will immediately have more credibility and will be taken seriously by the recipient.
  • Factual – you should allow the recipient to quickly see the relevant details, dates and requirements. We help you on this part with our complaint form framework.
  • Constructive – positive statements and the suggestion of positive action go a long way.
  • Friendly – with a friendly tone, the recipient is much more likely to want to help you.


Following on from these basic five points relating to customer service tips, here’s two examples of complaint letters done right to get you started, the first from Citizens Advice:

Dear Sir or Madam,

Account No: 12345678

Supply of Goods (Implied Terms) Act 1973 (as amended)

On 12/12/11 I entered into a Hire Purchase agreement with you for the following:

An all in one printer from Errol's Electrics.

I now have a problem with the goods:

The printer turns off after five minutes of use and won't switch on again for half an hour. I went back to the shop and they refused to replace it.

I understand that under the above legislation, it is your responsibility to resolve the matter and would therefore ask that this is done within the next 14 days.

Yours faithfully,

John Smith

The second is a more frivolous but well-known complaint letter written by tennis professional Arthur Hicks, who put a comedic spin on the usual format, providing customer service tips in his own way:

Dear LIAT,

May I say how considerate it is of you to enable your passengers such an in-depth and thorough tour of the Caribbean. Most other airlines I have travelled on would simply wish to take me from point A to B in rather a hurry. I was intrigued that we were allowed to stop at not a lowly one or two but a magnificent six airports yesterday. And who wants to fly on the same airplane the entire time? We got to change and refuel every step of the way! I particularly enjoyed sampling the security scanners at each and every airport. I find it preposterous that people imagine them all to be the same. And as for being patted down by a variety of islanders, well, I feel as if Ive been hugged by most of the Caribbean already.

I also found it unique that this was all done on island time, because I do like to have time to absorb the atmosphere of the various departure lounges. As for our arrival, well, who wants to have to take a ferry at the end of all that flying anyway? Im glad the boat was long gone by the time we arrived into Tortola last night and that all those noisy bars and restaurants were closed.

So thank you, LIAT. I now truly understand why you are The Caribbean Airline.

P.S. Keep the bag. I never liked it anyway.

I hope this little article gives you a few ideas on how to start writing your complaint; expect more in-depth advice to follow in later blog articles! Customer service tips are extremely useful ways to improve on your complaining technique and how to deal with complaints in your own line of work.

And don’t forget to give our services a go – for only £6.50 or $10 you can get your complaint heard straight away. Go to the homepage and get complaining now!