Let The Public Love You

I wrote Monday about trying to offer praise in writing for two fast-food stars.

The experience reminded me of the corporate defensiveness afflicting too many.

I’ve seen too many “handy” forms on websites. Often, there’s no box to check for leaving a compliment. The assumption is that every e-mail is a complaint.

Speaking of complaints, here’s one:

I get the feeling I’m filling out a police report any time I’m trying to share a simple bit of encouragement. I’m not a customer. I’m a witness in court! All the blanks must be filled in. Exact time of day. Street address of business. (C’mon, headquarters. You know where all your different locations are. This is a flaming hoop meant to discourage feedback.)

I have abandoned more than one attempt to thank a staff member by website, when I realized my effort could be a 20-minute endeavor. Yes, I’d be happy to answer a follow-up e-mail, if a promotion or other celebration might ensue following the unsung hero’s toil.

Do not assume the worst, business world. Do not assemble so many speed bumps that happy customers won’t bother bringing their thanks to you. Spell it out with simple language. Help us help you.

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