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  • Hi I'm Anne Marie with Speak Confident English and welcome to your Confident

  • English Wednesday lesson. Now it is no surprise that dealing with complaints in

  • any language is really awful. It is uncomfortable, it's stressful.

  • No one likes talking to an angry customer or someone who's upset. Last

  • week in our Confident English lesson we focused on how to make a complaint when

  • something happens to you and you're upset. You want to fix it. But we also

  • need to understand the other side -- what to do when someone makes a complaint to

  • you. Maybe your job is to fix problems and handle customer complaints. Or maybe

  • something happens with your neighbor and they're kind of angry at you and they

  • come to you with a complaint. What do you do to keep that relationship with your

  • neighbor? Or what do you do to keep a client so that they don't leave you for

  • another company? That is what we're going to focus on in today's lesson.

  • Okay so today is all about how to respond to complaints the right way in

  • English. And we're going to focus on four simple steps that you can use and follow.

  • And I'll help you with the language that you should use -- language that native

  • speakers use every day to handle complaints in the best way. We're going

  • to focus on how to listen, apologize, take action, and then follow up.

  • But let's get a little bit more in depth with each one. Now the first step is to

  • listen. Listen to the person making a complaint and that seems easy right? But

  • did you know that in English we actually have sounds and words that we use to

  • show that we're listening? In some cultures it's perfectly normal to stay a

  • hundred percent silent when you're listening to someone but not in English.

  • Here are a couple of things that you can do to effectively show that you're

  • really listening, that you really care about the complaint. You'll often hear

  • native speakers make sounds like mm-hmm, I see,

  • yeah. All of those little sounds mm-hmm,

  • yeah, I see those sounds indicate that we're listening to you or listening to

  • another person. And if those sounds or words are new for you, if they sound a

  • little silly, practice using them on your own. You can practice when you're by

  • yourself but those are really important, especially if you're talking to a native

  • speaker to show that you're listening. Now since we're talking about responding

  • to a complaint, you can use those sounds and words to

  • show that you're listening and then you can also use a few questions to help

  • clarify the situation or make sure that you understand it. And again, this shows

  • that you really care, that you really want to understand the problem. For

  • example you can say something like, "Could you tell me a little bit more about what

  • happened?" Or "Could you tell me exactly what happened?" And finally, "Let me see if

  • I understand this correctly..." and then you would summarize what you understand

  • about the problem. Now that you've listened and you understand the problem,

  • the next important step is to apologize. this can be the hardest step because

  • maybe you don't think anything is really wrong, maybe you don't really understand

  • the problem but this is also what your customer, what your neighbor or someone

  • who is offended wants the most -- they want an apology. So here are a few

  • common ways that native speakers apologize when something's wrong: "I'm

  • really sorry this happened to you." "I'm terribly sorry.

  • We're going to fix this right away." "I understand why you're so frustrated and

  • I'm really sorry." "I know this is a huge inconvenience and I'm really sorry about

  • that." And now that you've apologized it's time to take action. So depending on your

  • specific situation this might be providing a refund to a client or fixing

  • something that's broken. Maybe you need to resolve a conflict and to take action

  • you can do two things: one you can say exactly what you're going to do

  • for example, "I understand why you're frustrated. I'm sorry you're not happy.

  • We'll give you a refund right away." And there is the action -- we will give you a

  • refund right away. Or we're going to schedule someone to come fix the problem

  • today. We're going to schedule someone to come tomorrow to resolve the issue. Or

  • you can simply say something like, "I'm going to fix the problem right away." "I'll

  • get that fixed right away." Now the second option is to ask a question if you're

  • not sure what the other person wants and this is more common when it's a personal

  • relationship. Again imagine that you've broken a fence that your neighbor built

  • or something negative happened and you don't know what they really want, you can

  • just ask. For example you could say, "What can we do to fix this?" Or "What would you

  • like me to do to fix this?" And finally, after you have listened, apologized, and

  • taken action, you want to follow up. After you fixed the problem, resolved the

  • conflict, replaced a product, or gave a refund, you want to make sure that your

  • customer, your friend, your neighbor is happy, that everything is ok. And to do

  • that you can simply send an email, make a phone call, go talk to your neighbor and

  • ask them something like: "Did everything work out okay for you?" Did everything

  • work out okay for you? Are you happy with the solution? Is the new product working

  • okay for you? Are you satisfied with how we fixed this? Are you satisfied with how

  • we fixed the problem? And almost always when you ask those

  • simple follow-up questions your customer or your next-door neighbor feels so

  • happy because you care. You cared enough to ask if everything is okay. And with

  • that you have four simple steps plus all the language that you need to respond to

  • complaints the right way in English. Now as always I do have more expressions

  • that you can use in the online lesson, so review those expressions, add those to

  • your active vocabulary and I have a challenge question for you at the end.

  • Thank you so much for joining me, I love having you here every Wednesday and I'll

  • see you next week for your Confident English lesson.

Hi I'm Anne Marie with Speak Confident English and welcome to your Confident

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A2 US complaint neighbor fix listening refund customer

How to Respond to Complaints the Right Way in English

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    Samuel posted on 2018/07/29
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