This article was written by WUC Contributor Nicole
We all benefit from a little constructive feedback from time to time. Do you take the time to provide manufacturers with your personal opinion? Whether positive or negative, providing a short, personalized story can help companies focus on improving the products you use every day.
The looming question for many in this scenario is what’s in it for me? It is a lot like the weekly couponing process, there is a generous amount to be had – if you are patient and approach the process the right way. I have found that takes it me 10 minutes to pull up a manufacturer’s site, find the Contact Us tab and either type an email or fill in a comment form. What I have gotten in return has been worth it. I have always received a personalized response back. Probably more than half of the time, I get a request for my information, so that the company might mail a couple of coupons or samples that were not available in my local newspaper.
If at this point you have paused to think about all that time it is going to take to get in contact with all those people that make all those products you enjoy; it really isn’t that bad. I promise! Just take 15 minutes to survey your pantry, refrigerator and stockpile. Then make a top 10 list of the products that your family uses most often, highlighting items that you have not seen a plethora of coupons for in your area.
Whether it be all at once or one a day for a couple of weeks, go to the manufacturers websites and fill in the comment form or write an email to the address provided. If you find yourself using your favorite products in fun ways, whether it’s a box of pasta for your homemade lasagna or some extra soft two-ply to make your kid’s mummy costume, don’t be afraid to snap a photo with your phone and include it in an email, tweet or Facebook post. Taking a moment to personalize the comment is key!
After a few emails or posts, you will find that there is a rhythm and almost a template that you can utilize. I know that when I began to contact manufacturers, I wrote epic novels of my experience with products that I used both at home and teaching in my former classroom. Now I can get my point across in a short paragraph or two.
Feel free to check out the sample letter and tweet below. Just remember, be personal and polite; being overly harsh over a mediocre cup of coffee probably isn’t worth it. I have actually waited to send an email with some unfavorable feedback to a local restaurant until the next morning. This way I could reread it and make sure I was getting my point across in a professional and constructive way.
You never know, that next picture you tweet or comment you provide, might not only improve your morning cup of coffee, but make it an extra sweet deal!
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to let you know how much my family and I enjoy your products. We often make your yellow rice, since it is the perfect side to go with our school night dinners ranging from enchiladas to chicken and broccoli. We have also experimented with the new jambalaya rice by adding shrimp, turkey sausage and red peppers.
Living in (your home city), I have not seen many coupons for your products in my local paper. Do you ever provide coupons on your website or via email or mail? Thanks again.