A friend of mine went to pick up his dry cleaning last Friday. While this isn’t exactly headline news, be assured that the dry cleaner in question has no idea that he is the main story of my blog. He doesn’t know that potentially 1,000’s of people are reading about his example of appalling customer service right now.
Most of us expect that if our dry cleaning is tagged for pick up on a particular day, it will be ready. When my friend went to the store, he found a sign on the door that read: “Closed Fridays”. He had several suits waiting for pick-up…the only suits he owned. He needed them urgently and was left high and dry. When he was finally able to pick up his clothes and asked the dry cleaner why he tagged his clothes for Friday, the owner of the store tersely replied: “What do you want me to do about it”? Wrong answer.
The cleaner offered my friend a 20% discount. Although he had not asked for one, the offer made no difference. He had already made up his mind that he would not be coming back. False promises and the owner’s attitude were enough for him to make the decision in a split second. The dry cleaner failed to realize the implications.
Unfortunately, these situations play out every day, worldwide. Businesses of every description often fail to realize the consequences of poor communication as the fundamental reason for people deciding to invest their dollars elsewhere. One “faux pas” can destroy the relationship permanently. This truth applies to transactions at the highest level…from the board room to the mail room. Millions of dollars are being lost due to the absence of a Lead Yourself First mindset.
The tone of your communication is your responsibility. When you say or do the wrong thing, when your advertising is misleading, when your clients question any inconsistencies, listen and apologize immediately. Otherwise, you and your business may may find yourself front and centre on a very popular website known as “I’m-not-happy.com”.