How To Handle Complaints

Have you heard the story about 4 employees called Anybody, Somebody, Everybody and Nobody?

There was a really important job to be taken care of for a customer.

Everybody thought Somebody would take care of it.

Anybody could have done it but Nobody did - leaving the customer very ANGRY!!

I love that story as it reminds me so much of a recent experience that I had when booking some flight tickets a month or so ago.

"The tickets will be with you 7 days before you fly out Mr McPheat" said the rep

"Just 7 days before?" I said "What happens if I do not get them on time?"

"Well, you just call us and we will send you some new tickets right away, recorded delivery so that you get them the very next day"

Ummmm, I thought - I'm not very confident about this.

So, with 7 days to go before I was due to fly out to deliver my training event in Switzerland I duly looked out for the postman and my tickets.

First post came - nothing.

Second post came - nothing

"Time for a phone call" I thought!

"Mr McPheat, we sent your tickets out first class last Monday (7 days ago) so you should have had them by now - are you sure you haven't got them?"

"No" I replied (I mean come on, what a stupid question to ask me - Did she think I was calling up to say "Thanks for sending me the tickets")

"Mr McPheat, please give them another 2 days to arrive and then call us again"

I'll give them the benefit of the doubt I thought.

2 days went by - nothing.

"You'll now have to collect them at the check in desk on the day of your flight" I was told.

I mean, come on! Talk about leaving it until the last minute!

"The tickets must have got lost. It's not our fault it must the Royal Mail, they let us down a lot - you should have got them at your home address on the 15th"

I was due to deliver a communication skills course to a group of Senior Managers for a huge Pharmaceutical company on the Tuesday after flying out on the Monday.

If there was another error I would be stuffed and would have to let them down.

Tickets can't go missing I thought so I called up the travel agents where I booked them.

"We have your tickets here Mr McPheat" they replied

"I don't understand" I said

"They sent your tickets here instead of your home address"

To cut a long story short, the Company who issued the tickets blamed the Royal Mail, the Travel Agent blamed the Company for sending the tickets to them and when I called the Company and told them, they blamed the Travel Agents!!!!

Sound familiar?

Remember the story about 4 employees called Anybody, Somebody, Everybody and Nobody?

I was left very ANGRY!!


Sean McPheat is the Managing Director of MTD Training, a leading UK management training company. Sean is regarded as one of the leading authorities in leadership development has been featured on CNN, ITV, BBC and Arena magazine. Sean also owns some of the most successful professional development sites in the world includin...

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