So this weekend I was doing a write-up for a client and when I had completed it and delivered it to them they contacted me informing me that my report was largely inaccurate, and that I had to do it again. Why? Because there was a technical issue on their end that they felt nullified much of my report. There was no word from them indicating that they were going through a transition when they ordered, there was no emails before the order saying that they would like to work with me but they were planning a transition and could we set things up for after the transition, nothing. Just a request to redo the work I had done because I was wrong.
In the customer service industry, which all of us are in, we deal with things like this all the time. There’s the customer who ordered the burger and forgot to tell you they were allergic to something in the sauce so they want a new one. There’s the customer who pays for house cleaning services before the house purchase has been completed. There’s the customer who orders something before they have the money for it. If you’ve been in the business world for any length of time you’ve had at least one customer come back to you with excuses or issues like these. So what lessons can we learn from this?
First, I don’t believe everything has to be perfect, but you can’t be pushing forward with things that are incomplete or will cause issues for those completing your order. Yes, the world moves at a very fast pace today but that is absolutely no excuse for rushing things.
Second, communicate!! If it seems like I share about this on a weekly basis, it’s because I DO! It’s a big issue for a lot of people. Some simple communications would fix tons of things, and avoid situations like the one I shared about, altogether. It’s OK to not have all your ducks in a row, no one does, but no one wants to admit it.
Third, it’s not just that you’re being unprofessional, you’re being inconsiderate and rude. Just like you don’t want someone sneezing on your pizza, you want the treadmill company to completely install all parts, and you don’t want to be hit by the pushy car behind you, it’s about more than just being in a professional relationship, it’s about the fact that as people we can be so unbelievably inconsiderate of the others in our lives.
As I said earlier, we’re all in the customer service industry, every single one of us, even those of us who don’t own our own businesses. We deal with people on a daily basis, being just as rude or unprofessional as we want to be. Why? Because we don’t care? Because no one told us any better? Because we think everyone else is less important than we are? Any of these could be correct, but the simple fact is we have to do better.