March 11, 2010

Tip of the day

Let your voice be heard.  If there is a problem, politely explain the situation and ask for a remedy.

  • Your hamburger arrives at your table undercooked.  Let your server know. 
  • You have noticed that the nursing home where your grandfather lives isn’t as clean as it was before.  Express your concern to the administrator, social worker, or director of nursing.  You can also contact an ombudsman.
  • You tried the store generic and it was just awful. Most stores have a satisfaction guarantee on these products.  Bring the remaining amount in to your store (even if it is just the box or receipt).  Usually they will give you money back or a comparable mainstream brand.
  • You picked up a brand name product only to get it home and find that there is a problem with it.  Look on the packaging for the 1800 customer service number.  Be prepared to say the name of the store where it was purchased and to give the UPC number.  My rule of thumb is that I won’t call to report a problem if I can still use the product and be reasonably satisfied with it. 
  • Having a problem in a hospital setting?  Contact the patient advocate.  Be prepared to give as specific and concrete information as possible. 


Letting your voice be heard also works the other way around:

  • You receive excellent service at a restaurant; ask to speak with the manager and let him or her know.  Tell your server what specifically it was that impressed you—this will give him or her motivation to repeat those behaviors with others.
  • A restaurant goes out of their way to do good.  If it is a store chain, contact the regional manager or national customer service number. The restaurant can give you this information.  If it is a local place, tell the Better Business Bureau and tell as many of your friends about your experience that you can. 
  • Your purchases are a vote, a voice if you will.  Are you “voting” to support GMOs, child labor, environmental stewardship, or a company that is good to its employees? 
  • Complement your co-workers.  Say please and thank you.  If your company has an employee recognition program, make sure that you are one who frequently recommends co-workers that go above and beyond the call of duty.
  • If there is a company you like, call or write to tell why you like them.  (Sometimes they’ll give you coupons!)
  • Have a product you like?  Share it with others.  One of my favorite gifts to give right now is the Guess Who game for kids.  We have had a blast playing that game with my nephews!  Pass on your old magazines to friends.  I’ve turned many of my friends on to Mother Earth News and Body + Soul because of this.  (Granted I just let them borrow the Mother Earth News.  LOL)
  • Contact your local, state, and national representatives.  Let he or she know your thoughts.  Contacting him or her in handwritten letter form will most often make more of an impact than a call or e-mail.  Keep in mind that politicians often have very limited time—be specific, site bills by number when you can, be concise.

What other ways have you let your voice be heard?

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