What You Say In A Complaint Letter: Rules To Follow
The letter-writing advice below is based on “The Essential Guide to Business Etiquette” by Lillian Hunt Chaney and Jeanette St. Clair Martin.
1. The complaint letter should not be written when you are angry
2. The complaint letter should have no apparent emotion. (Whatyousay begs to differ. We think it is desirable to make carefully chosen statements that express emotion, such as “I was terribly disappointed…” “I was so looking forward to receiving the lamp that we ordered. I could just picture it in our den…” We think this adds a nice touch. We certainly do agree with the authors that you must stay in control of your emotions when you write a complaint letter.)
3. The complaint letter should be factual. (Whatyousay agrees totally. Double-check, no, triple-check every item you mention in your letter.)
4. The complaint letter should be grammatically correct.
5. The complaint letter should contain only essential information.
6. The complaint letter should be polite. If a letter is antagonistic, the receiver may not give it the attention it needs.
7. The complaint letter should be directed to the appropriate person. Make a phone call or visit the organization’s web site to find out to whom the letter should be addressed, and make sure the person’s name is spelled correctly. (whatyousay adds this qualification. When you make the phone call, ask if the person mentioned on the website is still in that position, and if he/she is receiving business correspondence. That person just might be on sick leave, and your letter might languish unread for weeks.)
–excerpted and adapted from Lillian Hunt Chaney and Jeanette St. Clair Martin, “The Essential Guide to Business Etiquette”
There are additional helpful rules to follow in “Time Tactics Of Very Successfil People.”
“Not a single Lincoln quotation that’s spurious in the entire book.”
“This is a book to cherish and share.”—Bill Marriott, CEO, Marriott International, Inc.
“Not only does Griessman give us Lincoln quotes, but he also weaves each one into a little jewel of an essay on that particular subject.” Wayne C. Temple, renowned Lincoln scholar, Illinois State Archives
A stirring, inspirational treasury of quotations from our greatest and most admired president.
You will also enjoy Lincoln Speaks To Leaders by Gene Griessman and Pat Williams.
Don’t leave yet. You’ve found a goldmine. Check out additional power phrases and unusual quotations.