Be Honest with Customers

Good service requires that you be honest with customers even if it means you may lose some sales. Yet, despite this requirement some companies simply are unable to tell a customer that they cannot help them with their needs or even lie to get the business. I say requirement because integrity is incorporated in this behavior.

A Personal Example

Recently I needed a repair made to a lawnmower and took it to a place near me that I had noticed for years. I guess I figured that if they had been there for several years that they were probably a logical place to go, especially since some of the big stores simply did not do the kind of service my mower needed. They readily accepted the job and informed me of the minimum charge and that they would contact me before doing anything more than the basic service. So, how did that work out? Not well and here’s why:

  • They did not contact me before doing additional work
  • They took longer than initially promised

However, those two items are not the main issue. The main issue was that when the work was finally done I paid for the service and then took the mower home to use it. Immediately I noticed that a banging noise I had told them about was still there. To make it worse, the so-called repair lasted only a few minutes before the mower no longer worked. So think about this for a moment. Two things were immediately not true in that they did not call before doing additional work and they did not complete by the stated date. On top of that they told me the mower was ready but if it only worked a few minutes then I have my doubts. Anyway, I returned the mower and explained the situation. They did a new service ticket and a few days later I picked it up again. When it was cranked before I left it still was not working properly and made the same noise as in the beginning. After tinkering with it a little they got it to work again so I took it home to try again. Bad idea! The noise got even louder and within just a few minutes the blade no longer rotated so the mower was useless. After a conversation I had with the service tech it became apparent that he probably was not qualified to do the work.

I made one crucial mistake in that I did not look at reviews for their service before I went there. If I had I would have seen that most were very negative. Despite my mistake that does not excuse them from the responsibility to be honest in what they say and to be forthright if they are not qualified to perform the repairs. In other words, their duty was to be honest with customers even if it meant they lost some business. As it is they now have a former customer who is very dissatisfied and will not recommend them.

On the Other Hand

Then there are companies that not only tell you if they are not the ones to do the work, they also sometimes just throw in a service for free. Two examples that come to mind involve auto repair services. One is a small shop that has occasionally made minor repairs for me at no charge and is also good about saying they are the wrong ones to do certain repairs. How about that? This is a business that turns down work, knowing it is in a customer’s best interest. This same shop is also very good about saying when a service item does not really need to be done or can wait quite a while. Likewise there is a major dealer that sometimes does work for me. They also will show me how to make a repair myself of even do it for free if it is a quick task. Again, they make nothing off of that but in the long run prosper as they retain customers because they know it pays to be honest with customers.

So, when you are tempted to get business at all cost, just remember that your level of integrity says volumes about your company. Make sure you maintain yours at the highest level.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.


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