Do you use your writing skills to their fullest? Being able to word your thoughts and feelings skilfully can earn you money in other ways … complaining.
I recently and cause to close an account with a financial institution. When I telephoned to make my request the representative made several attempts to get me to change my mind. He actually sounded quite desperate and it even made me wonder whether he was under pressure (via internal targets) to retain customers at all costs. Unfortunately, that ‘desperation’ led to the representative making a comment that was offensive. Eventually, the representative capitulated and took action to close the account.
Having worked in the past in a customer service environment I wasn’t happy with the way my request and been handled. So, with a little freelance-writer investigative powers I tracked down the email address of the CEO of the company involved and drafted a letter offering them some feedback on my experience.
Twenty-four hours later I received a phone call and a promise to investigate the matter. Three days later, having tracked down my phone call and listened to the conversation I’d had with their representative (see, that phrase ‘this call may be recorded for training purposes’ has its benefits) they agreed their representative had been offensive and unprofessional. Although it wasn’t why I got in touch, I have received some financial compensation. Based upon the number of words in my ‘experience feedback’ it wasn’t a bad rate of pay!
Of course, being self-employed has its benefits too. Last year, I and problems opening an account (yes, financial institutions again, but a different one this time) and they made an error on the account, which resulted in the need to return to the branch on four separate occasions, and being based in a rural county, this meant a round trip of 50 miles each time. So, I wrote a carefully constructed letter explaining how their error had impacted upon my business, reducing the amount of time available to earn a living. I rather cheekily, enclosed an invoice for my lost time. When they rang, not only did they apologise and offer to pay the invoice, they also offered to pay a bit more in compensation!
So, are you using your writing skills to the full? And guess who’s busy drafting an article about complaining?