Use an elevator pitch to resolve consumer complaints

elevatorI'm not suggesting you storm the corporate headquarters and jump into the elevator with the CEO to exact a resolution for your problem, that type of action comes later and in the company of Pulp Fiction-style associates. I am talking about a less dangerous and much briefer form of problem solving. An elevator pitch is generally used to sell a product or idea in 150 words or 30 seconds and covers three key areas. You can also use it to resolve consumer complaints.

Elevator pitches must be short and convincing not because elevator rides are short, but because the decision makers don't have time for every detail about your consumer problem. So when you get in front of executive customer service either on paper or on the phone, keep it short and get these two simple items across.
  1. Here is my problem.
  2. Here is what you can do to fix it.
Compelling idea, isn't it. But you want to see the plan in action, don't you. OK: Here is a sample elevator pitch to executive customer service at Chevy regarding our recent car purchase.

We bought our Chevy Equinox on November 25, 2007 at Yark Automotive in Whitehouse Ohio. A few days after purchase we found that the key would come out of the ignition while the car was in gear. When I called Yark about this I was told that it was a convenience factor so I could leave the car on and run inside a store. I contacted other dealers who warned that the key could come out while driving causing the wheel to lock up.

Within a week of purchase we found that the car wouldn't start reliably. At Yark's suggestion the battery was replaced, followed by a replacement of the ignition and repair of several sensors.

Finally I contacted the dealership's owner. Briefly and succinctly, I told him that as a representative of Chevrolet, he should cover the costs associated with fixing a lemon that he had knowingly sold me.

I didn't get that. What I did get was an offer to buy an extended warranty. But at least my complaint was so noted.

The elevator pitch is valuable because it forces you to write down the problem and solution in 150 words or less. Clear thinking can resolve a great many conflicts.

That helps you understand exactly what the problem is and what you expect
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