Product Feedback Is Worth Your Time
I couldn’t believe that my 3M Microfiber mop had cracked – again. It was the 3rd time in 6 months, and the thing wasn’t exactly cheap. I was ready to cry. Not because the dumb thing broke, but because I had company coming over in a few hours, and I was now reduced to scrubbing on my hands and knees the way my mother did in the 80’s.
Days went by before I decided to email the company to give them a run-down of what happened with the mop. I wasn’t expecting anything in return, but I needed to vent. I politely drafted an account of all the times the mop broke, and how it had disappointed me to the point of considering a lifetime ban of their cleaning products.
The email was sent; I felt better. I had almost let it go, when the postman came to my door a week later with a large package. Inside the box was a new mop, two replacement mop heads, coupons for a few free products, and a letter of apology. 3M had redeemed themselves, and I was cleaning my floors again.
What did I gain from this experience? At first glance it would seem a few free products. It really went deeper than that, however. 3M went on to redesign their mop head. I haven’t had the problem of a breakage since. I may have been influential in changing the way a product was made, and it was simple to do.
Product feedback doesn’t always have to come in the form of a complaint, however. I have taken a few minutes to give kudos for a well-made product more than once in my lifetime. A particularly effective laundry soap or a better-than-average granola have received high praise from me in the form of a call to their 800-number designated for complaints and questions. (Note: The folks fielding the call are usually so delighted to hear positive feedback that they will treat you like royalty, and often free product coupons or special incentives will find their way into your mailbox!)
Not feeling up to speaking to anyone? Email is still an effective way to go. While you may not get the resolution you need as quickly as phoning the customer service department, it is a great way to record the dates and times of your contacts. Eventually, you will get a response.
Taking time to give quality feedback is an opportunity that can often reap great rewards. Go ahead and let companies know how you feel. It may result in better products for everyone and a little incentive in your pocket!