"May I talk to your supervisor, please?" has an ominous sound to it, doesn't it? This weekend, my son made that request of the support specialist at my web hosting service. When the supervisor came on line, my son first asked if she knew to whom she was speaking. "Uh, yes, sir."
"Will you be able to write down or record our conversation?" he asked. "And I want to be sure you know that everyone in my family subscribes to your service, with several domains and web pages hosted there?"
"Uh, OK," she said, growing more uncomfortable. "What can I do for you, sir?"
"The lady who was just helping me did an excellent job. I know you don't hear from many satisfied customers, so I want to be sure you know how pleased I am. I assume that you know who was working with me. Do you have a special form or something that you can fill out to see that she gets credit? I understand that she does not work on commission, so I want to be sure she gets some recognition for a job well done."
What he heard next was silence, broken only by the sound of paper shuffling. "Wait a minute," she said. "I have that form here somewhere." More time passed, more shuffling. "It's here somewhere." Eventually, she found the "compliment" form and asked a few questions in order to fill out the form. "Is there anything else?" she asked, perhaps fearing that the other shoe would drop.
"No, that's it, REALLY," my son laughed.
You see, my son works in a technical field as Learning Management System administrator at the local university, and he knows only too well what it's like to answer questions, trouble-shoot problems, and hear complaints all day. Most people who call for technical help are over-wrought and frustrated before they even pick up the phone. They are often angry and defensive as they answer the questions the tech uses to focus in on the issue. More often than not, the best the technician can hope for is a resolution to the problem and a calmer professor.
It's too bad that compliment forms are not requested more often.
PS: My web hosting service is 1&1, where hosting starts as low as $41.88 per year, and domain registration can be as low as 99cents for the first year ($9.99 per year thereafter). If you are considering a new web host, check out 1&1 HERE before you decide.