I’m on a bit of a soapbox this month as it seems like I have recently heard more and more people, including myself, talk about their bad experiences in dealing with people you’d expect to be helpful, myself included. Whether it is a rude customer service representative, a boss that sets unrealistic expectations, a business partner that just takes your money and then forgets about you, or a project manager at Oncor Electric that just tells you to send a check for $10,000 and they will TRY to get the needed work scheduled in the next 4-6 weeks (yes, that really did just happen to me), it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
I can tell you from experience, it’s not that hard to be nice and put in the extra effort needed to change someone’s negative experience to a positive one. One of our very new clients wasn’t having much fun with a past partner relationship and went searching for someone that would basically do one thing…care about them and what they needed to be successful. This client is located in Oklahoma City, I office in Dallas, and one of my favorite colleagues is out of our headquarter office in Tulsa. This was a meeting that could have easily happened over the phone; however the client wanted to meet with us in person. I hopped on Southwest, spent 45 minutes in the air, was picked up by my Tulsa teammate as she swung through town and off we went to say ‘hi’ to Bob and his team.
Once there, we listened to what they had to say about feeling abandoned, let down, not important. We listened to them describe their wants and needs and what they expected from us. We were open, honest, and sincere in wanting to build a lasting relationship. We did this because we cared. As our meeting wound down, Bob said to us “I knew you were the right partner when you offered to meet with us face to face like we wanted”. This was easy; they were tons of fun. Bob and CS3 will be good friends for a long time, I think.
Employees should be treated at least as well as clients. In most cases, they are your livelihood. They will mimic their experience to your customers, competitors, alliances, and the people they deal with on a daily basis. If your company culture doesn’t promote a positive environment, your employees will let the world know, not only in words, but actions.
I know it’s really hot and miserable outside, the economy is still pretty weird, tragic things seem to be in the news on a daily basis and that can make us all a bit cranky. We need to put a smile on our face, go the extra mile and treat people the way we would want to be treated. (Bet you’ve never heard that one before, huh?). Your employees will thank you for it. Your colleagues will thank you for it. Your clients will thank you for it. Trust me, it works. Just give Bob a call and ask him.