We've all looked at something in the past and thought to ourselves "I know how I could make that better" - but how often do we actually do anything about it? If you're like me then I'm guessing that the answer is "not often" - and there's a good reason for this. The majority of the time when you make a suggestion for improvement to a company, nothing happens. Thankfully however, today I have a short story for you of just the opposite.
How It Started
A couple of months ago, as most of you know by now, I was won the prize for the best "mail of the month" in .NET Magazine. My letter (email) was published in the magazine (click on the image to the right to read the whole thing), and I also won a "Free Home Professional" hosting package from the guys over at Heart Internet.
I'd always found this prize a little weird during all my time reading the magazine. Who are the audience of .NET Magazine? I'd say for the most part they're professional web designers, and most professional web designers already have fairly substantial hosting packages. The prize always seemed like a bit of a mismatch to the audience to me.
When my letter won, I was put in touch with an awesome guy at Heart Internet called Robert Berry. After a couple of emails and a chat on the phone I had explained my opinion on the matter to Rob and he very kindly offered to exchange my prize for a 7 months free Heart Internet reseller account (a prize much more useful to me!).
I didn't think anything more of it - I thought that Rob had been somewhat of a legend in trading in my prize and that was it...
I've had the latest issue of .NET Mag sitting on my desk for a few days now, and I only opened it for the first time this morning. As I got to the "/inbox" section where they feature all the reader mail, I noticed something rather different about the page. The prize for the mail of the month has been changed to a reseller account rather than a "home professional" account.
Not wanting to take full credit for a happy coincidence, I fired off a quick email to Rob to ask if the decision had anything to do with my suggestion. I got a reply back a few minutes later saying that it was indeed, and that they always try to listen to customer feedback as much as possible.
To say that I'm impressed would be an understatement. It's a really great feeling knowing that you helped improve something, and that your opinion actually matters to a large company!
Speak up, make suggestions, you never know when you'll come across a customer service or marketing rep who's really good at their job and will take you seriously. And if they do - well then you have another small credit to your name, and we all like those!