Use this 5-step approach to resolving editorial complaints

Use this 5-step approach to resolving editorial complaints

August 17, 2014 Uncategorized 0

In my pre-consulting days, when I was VP/editorial of a leading B2B multi-publisher, proper complaint handling was accorded high priority. First, we had a written policy in place. Second, we ran periodic complaint-handling workshops for new editors and/or salespeople. The session usually was led by our executive vice president. Here are five policy excerpts specifically directed at editors:

When you receive a complaint via telephone, take down all the information — and make the caller aware that you are doing so. Do not argue, and don’t constantly break in to pass the buck to your printer, the advertising department or anyone else. For the moment, you are the magazine to the complaining party — and that party expects results from you. The very same day, a letter should be sent to the aggrieved party confirming the conversation, offering a solution, or indicating a deadline by which you will get back to that person with a solution. If appropriate, attempt to resolve the problem by offering to print a prompt correction, a letter to the editor or “compensatory editorial” in an early issue. Your readiness to resolve the complaint may in itself be the ticket to neutralizing the anger of the person at the other end of the line. Before you end the call, always ask the complaining party whether there are any other concerns that should be addressed. If the complaint is serious to the point that you can’t arrive at a solution, try bumping up the matter to your boss. Attention from a superior often scores points with the complainant. A conciliatory approach may make a friend and avert a crisis