Brampton - Every now and then we all experience what can only be referred to as a life changing event. This may be that first job after so many years of schooling. It could be moving to a new town or city. It can also be the gaining or losing of a friend or family member. At these times it seems that one thing is common to us all. We think differently afterwards. Recently into my life came one of those life changing events. The actual event I will not go into. Suffice it to say it caused me to think back over a number of years and advice given to me.
This reflection resulted in coming to the front of my memory two statements made by my parents as I was growing up.
The first: "If you are to impress people, do it with your actions not just words."
The second: "Make sure your words and actions are consistent with each other."
Let's look at the first comment. How many times have you heard an advertiser talk about their quality product or service? Ford used the slogan "At Ford, quality is job one" to counter negative perceptions about their vehicles from the 60's and 70's. In Ford's case they followed up the slogan with positive action steps. Unfortunately this is not invariably the case with all such ads or slogans. As a result of often misleading advertising by some organizations, the public has become jaundiced.
During the Christmas season, countless agencies are kept busy working to ensure that it is a time of joy for the less fortunate of our society. These folks truly let their actions speak for them. They perhaps, Build a Mountain of Toys; or Give a Child a Christmas, or donate to their local food bank or outreach program.
The second comment perhaps is even more relevant to a business organization. Some organizations tout the phrase, "people make the difference". Then they treat the employees like they were servants.In advertisement after advertisement on television and the radio we hear about how "our people are here to help you". Unfortunately, finding and actually speaking to one of those people is a true challenge. We buffer them with voice mail boxes with complicated menus. We shield them behind complex access systems on the internet. Perhaps we even go so far as to ensure that the only way they can be contacted is via a blind post office box or email.
Then we wonder why customers get upset. We wonder why we have to work harder and harder to just stay even, to even out the clients leaving with new clients brought on. Perhaps it is because we are not matching our actions with our words. Your organization may not fall into this category but have you thought about it lately?
While developing a client service training program for a former employer we came up with a phrase you no doubt have heard many times before:Under Promise and Over Deliver. If you are reasonable sure you can get the job done in 8 days, promise it in 10 and finish it in 7. Do you Under Promise and Over Deliver?
Something to think about.
Copyright 2010 Gordon J. H. Newman, CPT