TORONTO -- Whether it's disputing a colleague or getting a refund on a product, one expert says anyone can find success by learning how to complain effectively.

Amy Fish is the chief complaints officer at Concordia University and has spent her career analyzing disputes for her clients to find the best solutions. In her new book I Wanted Fries With That, she provides how-to examples on not only expressing complaints but also how to approach them.

For example, a complaint scenario many might find themselves in after the holidays is trying to return an unwanted gift without a receipt. Fish says although this can be intimidating, the main rule to follow is to be honest.

She reminds consumers to be straightforward with the result they want, whether that’s a refund or an exchange. "Most customer service agents have the ability to help you, now you just have to invite them into the conversation," Fish said Monday on CTV's Your Morning.

The same goes for complaints in any other scenario, whether getting cold soup at a restaurant or receiving a bad haircut.

Alongside with honesty, expressing exact needs make the process easier for both parties. "The greater chance of having a complaint resolved to your liking is if you know what you're looking for," Fish said.

Before resorting to more aggressive tactics by yelling and causing a scene, Fish says it’s all about merit and delivery. Finding a balance between assertive and gentle is a more effective way to get better service.