Have you ever wondered if your input makes a difference to the company you gave it to?
Sometimes the face of an organization is hard to find, but it still surprises me when I tell people that the Squarespace team actually listens to what you have to say and takes real notes. Since 2008, I've sent a number of messages to the support team and have been consistently responded to with a "thanks for bringing this to our attention" or "we'll pass this on to our developers" or "we'll bring this up in our next meeting," and guess what?
They actually do.
Everyone I've told this to has had a look of surprise and a high-pitched response of, "Really?" And, I understand that surprise.
Have we really gotten to a place where we're in disbelief that an organization can hear us? Are we so keen on the idea that companies are faceless, soulless organizations that we are numb to the truth that organizations are made up of people? And these people might even care about what we have to say? Even *gasp* listen to us at times? Are we really so shocked that they want to know about improvements or suggestions or errors or opportunities?
If you're an organization that doesn't listen to people who care enough to say something, then you're failing miserably. And if you're a client or customer on the verge of giving feedback, give it.
Don't nit pick like an asshole, and don't underestimate your words and waste everybody's time by saying something you wouldn't say in person–just be real with it. Say it like you're saying it to a friend. Give the company that benefit of the doubt, and let them give that benefit to you.
This year, I've learned a lot about friendship–more than I ever have in my life. And, from an organizational standpoint, it's not just about being there in gratitude of service (an extremely important thing I strongly advocate), but also just existing in the world as a person who gives a damn. Just a little bit. Where it's not ever consuming, but is effective.
Like a real friend.