Words by Carlie Tucker
Try as we might to put together an organised business travel schedule, sometimes things just don't work out as they should. Whether it be bad weather or just plain bad luck, road warriors quickly learn the value of rolling with the punches.
Though, every once in awhile a bad experience comes at the hands of poor customer service and there is no solution but to complain. When justified, you want to ensure your grievances are heard. Here are a few tricks to make sure you're not lost in the fray in the search for a speedy resolution:
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Handling A Hotel Situation
Be it misrepresentation, poorly kept accommodations or faulty in-room facilities, the best thing to do if you run into a situation in your hotel is handle it immediately. Contact the front desk while you're at the hotel. Direct face-to-face communication leaves less room for misunderstandings, while a positive attitude is more likely to see results.
Oftentimes, hotels are very apologetic and will do what they can to alleviate any concerns. If your problem can't be resolved immediately, follow up via telephone and/or email after your return home. Make sure you have evidence to support your case (ie photos, receipts or statements).
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Airing Airline Annoyances
From lost luggage to delayed flights, there are plenty of things that can go wrong when flying. And while you may want to vent to the first service staff you see, the best tool for handling airline complaints is a cool head.
In cases of lost or damaged luggage, contact customer service before you leave the airport. Airlines will often have service teams dedicated to resolving these issues. The same goes for delayed or cancelled flights. Service staff will always do what they can with the resources available to them. Just take a deep breath and work with them. They'll appreciate your kindness.
For other problems, you'll likely have to deal with the airline. Start things off by documenting your problem. Snap a few photos or take a video with evidence of the date and time. If you do speak to anyone, make sure you take down their name. It's also worth doing a bit of research into airline policies to find out exactly what you're entitled to before you make your first contact.
If possible, contact the airline by phone, making note of the date, time person you're speaking to and reference number (if provided). After calmly describing your problem, work with the airline to come to an agreement. Make sure you discuss the next steps in achieving your desired resolution, and follow up to ensure your complaint doesn't fall through the cracks.
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Car Rental Complaints
Similar to hotels, handling a car rental complaint is best done in person before you leave the lot.
It's imperative to do a thorough search of the car to record any dings, dents or scratches inside and outside the car. Take photos and let the rental agent know of any existing damages. If you run into a more substantial problem with the car, rental agents are usually all to happy to help out by providing you with a different vehicle.
In cases of poor treatment, calmly ask to speak to a supervisor or manager. If this is not an option, make a note of the date, time and any names before leaving. Contact the company via telephone as soon as possible, remembering to maintain a professional tone. Approach the phone call with a clear idea of what you want out of the complaint (an apology, refund, etc) and don't forget to follow up if necessary.
Book With Your Travel Manager
Of course, the best approach to complaints is to do what you can to avoid them all together. One of the best ways to ensure your travel goes off without a hitch is to utilise a travel service such as Flight Centre Business Travel (FCBT). By providing you with a dedicated Travel Manager, you'll receive tailored service to perfectly suit all your travel needs.
You'll have a single point of contact that knows your travel preferences, taking the guesswork out of booking everything from cars and hotels to flights and frequent flyer points. It also means you know who to call should anything go awry while you're on the road.
Along with the dedicated service of your Travel Manager, working with FCBT comes with a few other helpful business travel bonuses. This includes the broadest range of corporate and leisure fares, 24/7 support around the world and the reliability of working with the trusted Flight Centre brand.
For more information on how FCBT can help you achieve outstanding travel management solutions, please contact our Travel Managers on 1300 797 826.