I recently stayed at a national hotel chain that I use regularly. On the third night of my stay, I requested a 5:30 a.m. wake-up call from the front desk to allow time for a morning workout before checking out and teaching my final negotiating skills course. Unfortunately, the front desk never called the next morning and I awoke at 7:10 am. In the next 20 minutes, I showered, packed, checked out and rushed to my 7:30 meeting. Obviously, I was poorly prepared and not pleased!
Way back, before my Scotwork days, I would've vented my anger vociferously at an innocent desk clerk, who would have probably given me a polite "I'm sorry" and perhaps a small discount. Neither would have satisfied me because the apology would have done me no good and the discount would have gone to my client, who was paying the bill but who was never inconvenienced at all.
But these days I develop a wish list for these inconveniences, and know that I'll only be satisfied if I propose the solution. In this case, I wanted a wish-list item that would cost the hotel little but would offer me a personal reward commensurate with my inconvenience. I asked for and received 20,000 reward points from the hotel, enabling me to get a good night's sleep at a place of my choosing in the future! And it allowed the desk clerk to keep the room revenue and a good customer.
If you have a complaint, propose your solution. You'll usually get what you want and avoid bad feelings all around.
John Leehman is Associate Tutor for Scotwork North America