I have just been to my ip provider’s website to lodge a complaint after 2 days of emails not arriving. Their online complaint form has many fields (too many in my opinion but I’ll let that go!) and most are marked compulsory.
One questions, marked as compulsory to answer is “Would you like ABC to contact you? Yes Email Address”
In other words I have to say yes I want you to contact me in order to submit the form! Why bother asking if I have no choice but to agree to it?
So if you are preparing any sort of form or questionnaire, make sure you give people a choice rather than pretending to give a choice. If you are not going to give them a choice about something, be honest enough to say there is no choice – anything else just makes you look foolish and/or deceitful.
Use your words and questions wisely!
Through recent conversations, the topic of contact details has come up (again!) So let me start by asking – do you prefer to be contacted by phone or email, or something else? When leaving your details for a business to contact you, do you like giving lots of details or just choosing the ones that suit?
I have explained before that I prefer getting emails than phone calls as a general rule, so maybe I am a little biased!
However, I don’t like filling in forms on websites that ask for a lot of information because it wastes my time and gives them more than I think they need to know. For example, if I am asking you to email me something, why do you need my phone number and postcode?
My favourite collection forms are those that let you fill in phone or email or whatever, or at least ask what your preferred method of contact is. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who prefers a choice…
Along with choosing what contact details you give out, remember to consider what you ask for, too.
I just saw this fantastic video and felt I had to share it…
It is about leadership (relating to a Californian company, but that is not noticeable until the end) and how we can all make a difference to our world; but it is also about being a decent human being and ending each day satisfied with ourselves and our lives.
Thank you to Donna-Marie for sharing this in her blog for me to find, too.
I hope you find it as inspirational or encouraging as I did.
My daughter recently discovered that people didn’t live at the same time as dinosaurs. She was shocked and didn’t really believe it.
“But if people weren’t alive when dinosaurs were, then how can people know what they were called?” she asked.
It lead to a discussion of why we use names for things – even things that we don’t see in our everyday life. Names save us time, words and energy, as well as individualising us as people.
When writing, the choice of a name can be really important as names also set the scene. Names can give information about the person, such as gender, nationality, personality and age, and about the theme of the writing.
And it’s not just naming characters in fiction stories either. When I am writing something that includes examples, I take care to use names that imply a mix of people – for instance, using male and female names.