Whether it’s something as important as taking them with us to vote during election time, or as minor as contacting a company to tell them what we love–or don’t love–about their products, every one of us has a voice that is worthy of being heard, no matter who’s listening.
Today Maddy, Owen, and Cora learned first-hand how valuable their opinions are as consumers. It was awesome for me to see the surprise in their eyes when they realized how powerful their voices are, even at 6, 4, and 3-years-old.
- Teaching Children to the Power of Voice: I’m not talking about ‘voice’ as it relates to writing (although that was always one of my favorite topics back in my good, ole English teaching days).
Rather, the ‘voice’ we talked about today was our actual shared opinions on a product or service. I’ve always been one to find a second to call a company if the taco shells I brought home were crushed and unusable, if the slides on my sandwich bags wouldn’t close properly, or if I had an unpleasant experience at a store, show, or event. I’m not a complainer; I just appreciate well-made products and think that respectful customer service is a necessity.
So this winter, when Maddy, Owen, Cora, and I battled repeatedly with the most ridiculous syrup container ever created, one day I finally decided something had to be done.
Every time we used the syrup, even though it claimed to have an “easy pour” cap, heavy, sticky syrup dripped, leaked, and landed everywhere imaginable. Finally, it ended up on one too many laps and pantry shelves, and I decided to call the company.
I made a really big deal about calling the company on that “last straw” morning. I looked for the phone number on the back of the bottle, and I said something like, I’ve had it. We’re going to call this company to tell them how unhappy we are with this silly bottle. We cannot use the syrup anymore because it makes such a mess. I’ll never, ever buy this again. What are some things we can tell them when we call?
Maddy and Owen came up with the obvious–that syrup drips everywhere when Mommy pours it, that we have to use a napkin to stop the drips. (We stuck a napkin to the already-sticky bottle in a fruitless attempt to help manage the drips; it didn’t help.)
So I called. And I politely spoke to the customer service representative who apologized and sent me a replacement coupon later that week. Granted, the kids couldn’t really appreciate a coupon like I did, but when a small box appeared at our door today, things changed.
Any time a box arrives, we make a big deal about it, so today was no different. When I opened it up and saw a brand-new syrup bottle, my little ones were excited and curious. I read the letter that was included which explained that this company has recently redesigned the cap, that they valued our opinion, and that they want us to try the new cap then share our thoughts with them.
Maddy was psyched. Oh my gosh, Mommy. We get to try the new bottle and then tell them if it’s fixed. How cool?
It was cool. This company really did listen when we called, and they really do value our feedback. How incredibly exciting for three little syrup-lovers and their mom! Sunday pancakes will take on a whole new meaning when my bottle-testers are wearing their strong-voiced consumer hats!
So that was that. It was a laid-back, sunny, yard-work Saturday for us, topped with an unexpected lesson in exercising our voice and practicing savvy communication with companies. I’ll take that kind of learning any day.