Friday, 26 September 2008

I have a theory

I have a theory. (No, not a dream, that's been done.) It's a theory about customer service.

Let me start from the beginning.

I had a teacher once who wrote his Master's thesis on... Thesis writing. I shit you not. He won awards for it. It's genius. This was fascinating to me, the English geek. If I learned anything in school, it was how to write a killer thesis.

I apply my stellar thesis-writing skills to all of my structured writing.

Maybe I should teach you all how to write really good Thesii? Thesis'? Anyway...

Let's write a thesis on bumblebees. Your point is going to be that bees are important. With me so far?

Paragraph 1: State your point.
  • Bees are important. (Stay away from using the terms "I think", "I feel", "I want to prove". Your point is not personal, it is universal. Full stop.

Paragraph 2: Clarify.

  • Bees are important because they pollinate flowers, and to a lesser extent because they give us honey.

Paragraph 3, the body: Explain and support.

  • In gathering nectar to make honey, bees come into contact with the pollen in flowers. This pollen rubs off onto the bees hairy legs and is transferred to other flowers the bee comes into contact with during his pursuit for above-mentioned nectar. This is important because it fertilizes the flowers and allows them to propagate and continue the species. Without this natural pollination, the flowers would die off, as there is not any viable alternatives to bee-pollination that would work on such a large, world-wide scale.
  • Then they make honey which is actually for baby bees but we eat it anyway. It's an excellent and healthful replacement for sugars and high fructose corn syrup in the human diet.

Paragraph 4: Tie up loose ends.

  • If bees die, flowers die. Fruit doesn't grow, vegetables don't grow, food resources die off, people die off.

Paragraph 5: Conclusion. This is the same as your original point, which if you've written a well thought-out and convincing thesis, your reader should now agree with.

  • Bees are important. (Never use the phrase "In conclusion". It's not good. You should be writing so that people forget they are reading, and instead get involved in what you are saying.)

End teaching session. With me so far? Good.

Now as for how thesis writing applies to real life:

I cloth diaper. I use BumGenius diapers exclusively. I love them, but lately they have begun to to malfunction. The elastics in the leg holes have lost all their snap, causing them to leak out the sides and become, for all intents and purposes, unusable.

So I wrote a very nice letter to the BumGenius (CottonBabies) corporation, in award-winning thesis form.

Paragraph 1: My point.

  • I use BG diapers, and they are malfunctioning due to product defect.

Paragraph 2: Clarify.

  • I use your product exclusively, follow all your enclosed directions to the letter, and my diapers are failing well before they should be. They have lost all elasticity, and as such are no longer usable.

Paragraph 3, the body: Explain and support

  • My son is 15 months old, I bought diapers back on such-and-such date(s), from such-and-such company. It was my understanding that these diapers would last the entire length of time my son would be in diapers, and that fact was one of my deciding factors in choosing your product.
  • Having followed all care instructions as listed on the enclosed pamphlets that came with the diapers, as listed on the diapers themselves, and as listed on your own website, I am disappointed that the diapers have not held up as well as I was led to believe by your company in paragraph blahblahblah of your website. (Cut and paste paragraph)

Paragraph 4: Tie up loose ends.

  • I love your product, aside from this issue. I love x and xy and xyz about it, specifically.
  • I do not want to have to go to a different company. *HINT*
  • I do not want to have to re-purchase these diapers when there is a reasonable expectation that this would happen again, as it is a tremendous expense and one of the reasons I chose your product was that I would never have to purchase another diaper for this child. *HINT*
  • I have recommended your product to many people and have converted numerous parents from disposable diapering to cloth diapering solely on the strength of your diaper. *HINT*
  • I'm a member of several Internet forums where the discussion of your product would be a natural and recurrent theme. So far, I've had nothing disparaging to say. *HINT*

Paragraph 5: Conclusion.

  • Your product FAILED.


The Mommy.

Good, right? I sent it late last night. I woke up this morning to not only a letter from corporate head office in the States, but to a letter from the head of Canadian Distributing. They asked a few more questions, which I answered, and they both made reference to replacing my diapers.

I'm just. that. good.

My theory? Articulate people get what they want because they're harder to argue with. Be articulate. Get what you want.

I pretty much always get what I want. Now you can too!

1 comment:

Kim said...

You're my hero!