My name is Jess Stratton and welcome to Monday Productivity Pointers. This week, I'm focusing on solving consumer issues. And this time, I'm going to show you how to write an old-fashioned letter to solve your issue. Stick with me, because this does have everything to do with productivity for a few reasons. Number one, of course if your product doesn't work you can't actually produce anything with it. But number two, if you write a letter and nothing comes out of it, it was a big waste of time and we don't like that around here We like results and if you're watching Monday Productivity Pointers, you probably do too.
So today, I'm going to show you how to make sure you get results from your letter. So let's dive right in. I've got a letter up and this first example is actually an example of what not to do when you're writing a letter. Bear with me, because I know this letter is in its most simplest form. Let's talk about what we see here. So, the first thing I can see, is that I've correctly formatted the letter, the dates at the top, the address of the company that I'm writing the letter to, I've addressed it to the Customer Service Department.
I did leave a place for my signature, but I didn't put in any contact information in here. Now I can assume they're going to keep the envelope which had my return address on it. So nothing's actually going to come about this letter. Now I did start out strong. I said where I purchased the widget. I also continued to say what happened to the widget, and I did make attempts to get it fixed. But the general tone of my letter is not very constructive. I'm angry, which is perfectly okay. I'm certainly allowed to be angry, but I'm really not making them want to help me.
Also, there's one key thing here that's missing. Here's the main cause of nothing coming out of a claim letter. I didn't actually ask for anything in this letter. We can't expect to get anything that we don't ask for. While there are companies out there with such fantastic customer service that if you say you're unhappy they'll move heaven and earth to make things right, it's unfortunate that it probably doesn't work that way most of the time. So if you don't ask for something in your letter, it will most likely get read, and possibly handled internally but both ends of this transaction have been met.
I've complained and they read my complaint, end of story. So to fix this, before you even start writing your letter you first need to figure out what it will take to make this a happy ending for you. Do you want a replacement, a refund, even a discount on your next purchase. When you sit down and think about it, it might not actually take much to make you happy and a company might actually be quite happy to give you what you want. If you're writing your letter to mail it in, you can also scan a photo of what happened to the product or a proof of purchase.
That will go a long way too. Now you can use this format to send an email to the customer service department. That's totally fine. I do recommend adding a line, saying that you can provide proof of purchase or photos upon request. I definitely don't recommend sending them as attachments right away with the email. And the reason for this is because some customer support emails will just reject them immediately. They won't make it through the spam filter because they're containing these attachments. So, whatever their junk mail filtering protocols are, you need to be cautious of those, and it will be unfortunate if you wrote this great letter that never got read because it never actually made it to the company.
So knowing all of this, let's take a look at a good example of a customer service letter. I have the same format, the date, the address. I'm saying where I purchased the widget. Now here I'm starting on a very positive note. Right? I was very excited to get this, and I then continue with how I feel about it. Right? I'm disappointed because it fell apart. I also need to tell them where I am. Right? I can't use this. And I paid a lot of money for it. I'm going to continue by saying I'm frustrated because I went back and forth between the support department and it's still not fixed.
Now here's the key thing. I'm requesting a replacement widget to be sent out as soon as possible, to the mailing address listed below. Again, you need that contact information, which I've included at the bottom. I also said that I can provide photos and I can also send the broken one back. If they provide a prepaid return mailing label. Finally I end with a closing note and I also have my phone number if they want to reach me for more information. The last thing I want to point out, is that this letter is still relatively short.
It's very direct and very to the point and I did manage to say everything that I wanted to say. The key thing here is where I actually said what's wrong. I just wrote that we had some back and forths, and that it fell apart at the top. I don't need to go into details. It's very important to keep it short. So, that's my letter. Now while I certainly hope that you never have to write one of these letters, because that would mean that something doesnt work and that's sad, but if you do, I hope you get some great results
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