Let me start this by saying I am not perfect. I have griped, whined, bitched, moaned and complained plenty in my life. But lately I didn't like the way it made me feel, as it pertained to dealing with companies on their Facebook pages. At the risk of sounding like Pollyanna, I am choosing to be positive--even if I am less than thrilled with a product.
Recently I have found myself surrounded by a lot of drama on Facebook, one company in particular, and subscription boxes in general. Seeing grown women acting worse than my 10yo son makes me annoyed at best, and sick to my stomach at worst.
All over beauty products.
I've left groups, unfollowed blogs, and done what I can to distance myself from the worst of these offenders. I have apologized to companies when I knew that I was less than constructive with my criticism. And I've learned new ways to deal with things.
First, patience. Asking the same question over and again in the span of a few hours is tantamount to a child asking "Are we there yet?" Just because you are hovering on the FB page doesn't mean a business is. Sometimes you might need to take a moment, read through some threads and see if the answer is already there. If it is a truly urgent matter--a package lost, payment double-billed, get off Facebook and CALL the company.
Which leads to my second approach--FB was never meant to be a place for customer service. It is a social site geared towards promoting the business, giving updates, etc. Not dealing with people one on one (though some do, and kudos to them). If I have a pressing need, or a true complaint, I call, do a live chat, or email the company. Sometimes I will follow up a chat with an email. I can't think of a time where this did not solve my issue. I am polite, I state what my issue is, and how I think they can improve/solve my issue. And I thank them for the opportunity for me to share my issues.
Third, it takes just as much time to be nice as it does to be nasty. If all you have are unkind things to say about a company, perhaps you need to take a look at yourself, and perhaps you need to part ways. No company can make 100% of the people 100% happy 100% of the time.
With regards to subscription boxes, I am a member of *a lot* of them--I've been working on a post forever that hopefully will see the light of day soon. I have been unhappy with some and quit, and others, I liked but in comparison, liked others better. But one thing I've been doing with all of them--if there is something I can't use, I gift it, or save it for a giveaway. Most of the time, my teen daughter is the recipient and she loves it. And it makes me happy to share!
One way I've chosen to improve how I react towards sub boxes is to stop doing "cost analysis". I know we all do it, or at least the hard core subbers do :) It made me grumpy....very grumpy this month. And I didn't like feeling that way about a company I really love. So no more spreadsheets for me! LOL
Another way to look at companies, particularly sub boxes, is that it is a form of advertising. The company themselves may not be able to put everything they'd like into a box, or control the sample size they are sent. The brands represented WANT you to become a customer--that's why you usually get coupons. So if I get energy bars two months in a row, fine by me!
Finally, I'd like to share what happens when you use constructive critism, or better yet, praise for a company. Not only do you truly help them see where things need to be improved, but every company I've dealt with has done something to reward me for the way I handled things. Do I do this for the reward? No. I believe in giving a company my honest evaluation, just as I do for my book reviews, and just as I did with movie reviews for my local paper.
But I think I've shown my children a great lesson in where being kind, gracious and grateful not only makes you a more pleasant person, it helps you become less negative over "the small stuff" (and really, if you have $10 to spend on a mystery bag, you do need to consider yourself grateful). And sometimes, that good karma comes right back to you.
My karma so far? A free month, a discounted month, perfume, nailpolish, and gourmet chocolate. And that's just been in the past 3 months. (And no I'm not naming names).
So call me a Pollyanna. It's better for my blood pressure and frown lines anyway ;) The perks are just icing on the beauty cake.