When exactly did it happen that people stopped doing their jobs?
Grrrrr. This is one of those things that really ticks me off. To get on my soapbox for a minute, where has professionalism gone? As a business owner, I know firsthand the importance of good customer service. And this can be a tricky thing, since my business is providing therapy – as a psychotherapist, sometimes keeping a high standard of integrity and professionalism means telling my clients something they won’t want to hear. But professionalism is not just limited to content – it’s the process of doing business too. For example, if I have an air duct cleaning company come out and clean my air ducts, and they (accidentally, of course) disconnect my home alarm system, who – in your opinion – should pay for the $261.87 I was charged for the alarm repair? I’ll give you a hint as to my humble opinion: it isn’t me.
Or, pray tell, if I go away for the weekend to a quaint B&B and discover black mold in the dresser drawers, whose problem is that really? (see above for answer). And why should I have to be the one making call after long-distance call to get a result? And WHY, when I finally receive a refund, is it $30 less than what I paid? What is going on here??
The worst part is – of course these things happen. They really aren’t anyone’s fault, per se – unseen wires can be crossed; mold grows (I guess. Clorox, anyone? Sorry. Still grossed out.) But if these things happen on your watch, as a result of an action or inaction by your company, I believe it is reasonable and civilized to expect a quick and professional outcome. Like, a refund. Like, a return phone call. Like, a human being on the other end of the line who can think about more than money.
Am I expecting too much here? I have to admit, it chips away at my usual good feeling for mankind. The fact that I have to work harder to maintain my natural optimism in the face of such absurdity only makes me madder.
Whew. That felt good. Thanks.
I think I felt motivated to blog about this, not just to get it off my chest, but as a wake-up call – a manifesto of sorts, if you will – to companies and people out there: have integrity. Be human – connect, and if you screw up, repair. It’s worth so much more than money (though in the long run it will earn you more, as the loyalty of your customers is translated into cash).
I am not above screwing up either – far from it. But I am proud to say that when I do, I strive to make amends – a refund, a reschedule, something out of my pocket to compensate for me double-booking or forgetting an appointment. Does it hurt to swallow a client’s session fee when I make a mistake? You bet it does. Which is why I don’t make them often – the sting teaches, and it’s definitely not just about the money.
I want to be seen and known as a person of integrity. Why do I sometimes feel that this is not a modern concept??
Okay, I’m really done. If I’m gutsy I’ll tweet this – if I do, feel free to respond, whether you agree or disagree. It just feels like a big deal to me; let me know if I’m the only one. Thanks.