When saying ‘Please’ isn’t polite

How you ask for something really does matter, never more so than in the case of asking a customer for feedback.  It’s something that’s bothered me for a while now but I’ve only just got round to replying to the email which says ‘Hi Mrs Lucy A Pimblott, will you please take a minute to share your experience?’ and telling them why I have been ignoring them for the last few years!

To me, this feedback request is more of a barked command than an appeal for a favour. I know as well as anyone that genuine customer feedback and reviews are the life blood of any business, especially an online one, but it has to be politely asked for not demanded.

Maybe it’s just me and the way I read the words in the way they have been written, they are after all just words and arranged differently they make a perfectly pleasant request to share my online buying experience of, in this case, a doorbell. But bear with me, put your parent / grown up / teacher / boss / co-worker head on, say these few sentences out loud and see which sounds more like something you’d want to respond positively to…

  • ‘Will you please put your dirty clothes in the laundry basket?’
  • ‘Please will you put your dirty clothes in the laundry basket?’
  • ‘Will you please rewrite this report including your references?’
  • ‘Please will you rewrite this report including your references?’
  • ‘Will you please get your coat and shoes on and get ready for school…?’
  • ‘Please will you get your coat and shoes on and get ready for school…?’

Ok so you get a small insight into our household there, the report one was for a work type scenario but I’m sure you see what I mean.

Adding please after the request makes it sound like an exasperated parent entreating their child to just bloody well do what they’ve asked them to do at least 10 times previously. We add please to what is essentially a demand to try to make it look as though we are being polite when actually we’re not, we’re being sarcastic. When I’m trying to get Pipsqueak to tidy her bedroom or to just do as she’s asked the first time I ask, that’s fine (you can challenge my parenting techniques but sarcasm and exasperation feature highly and it’s working to an extent), but it’s not a good tone of voice to use when asking customers for extremely valuable feedback.

I’m hoping that by raising this small matter with the customer feedback team, a very small but important change can be made. I may even suggest they do a champion challenger test to see which wording achieves the most actual feedback before they make the change and see things my way!

Feedback is crucial, how you ask for it can influence what is said…

Chief Glitter Sprinkler
Lubylu Ltd


What being accepted on the ’e-spark’ programme means to me

Yay – New Year, new opportunities for Lubylu®! I have been accepted onto the next enrolment of the Entrepreneurial Spark programme starting with a full day boot camp at the end of January.

To say I’m excited would be a massive understatement, I am so overly in awe of what this opportunity means for me and Lubylu® I struggled to put it into words but I’m going to try.

It’s not just that by being in the Hatchery (the term used by e-spark for their office hubs) I will have access to a business enabler whose role it is to help me strip my business down to the bare bones, work out what works and what doesn’t and then re-build it in a scalable, process and profit driven model. It’s not simply that by having experienced business mentors available for chats, meetings and advice I will be able to overcome many of the hurdles I have encountered so far and discuss possible ways forward. And it’s not just that I will be in the Hatchery with other like-minded business individuals who all have that #GoDo attitude and a desire to make things happen. It’s mainly because it means that they believe in me.

The business mentors, the enablers, the powers that be at Entrepreneurial Spark read my application, investigated my business, interviewed me and listened to my 60 second pitch and decided that Lubylu® and I are worth investing their time, effort and expertise in! That to me is a major accolade and achievement on my part. It means to me that they see a business that is scalable, capable of developing from its current existence as a successful lifestyle business into one which has a positive impact on its market place and the economy.

Just this validation of being given the chance to prove myself and show what I am actually capable of has made me more focused over the last few weeks. It’s made me look at the business from a distance, work out where I want to pitch myself, what I ultimately want to achieve, where I want to be and how I want Lubylu® to look and feel over the next few years.

If just being accepted into the programme can do all this for me, just think what I can achieve when I’m actually part of the action!


Chief Glitter Sprinkler
Lubylu Ltd