For Your Customers, Be Humble and Be Honest


In the second quarter of 2017, I think I’ve had the opportunity to say at least four times that as much as people are an important asset to your business, the true asset of businesses is quickly becoming technology. I love my team, but we all suffered to this issue recently: if your server dies and you lose all your data, that information would be harder to replace than your best sales manager.

Wow, did Quincy CFO have some tech issues last week. And the only thing that got me through was that I’ve still got the greatest team to keep things running and calm me down. I’m writing to tell you a little bit about customer service and how to be a successful CEO.

I can tell you with certainty: silence is a killer. If something’s going wrong, and you’re trying to get through to someone and no one is picking up, silence is too much to handle, am I right?  So that’s lesson #1.  If something goes wrong, communicate.  In fact, over-communicate. Tell your customer when to expect the next update, and it’s okay in that update if you have no update! But silence will drive your customer mad.

Lesson #2: when you do come up for air, don’t make it about you – make it about your customer. After 4 days of services being down and 3 days of no communication about the problem that is occurring, I don’t suggest you send out an email with a subject line that can be understood by the reader about how hard this is for YOU. Don’t make it about you from the start – make it about your customer. Let them know you really care.

Here’s lesson #3: when you are ready to start remedying the problem, work your ass off.  Even if you know you’ve lost the customer, give good customer service, and do not say your customer support hours are over for the day and you’ll pick up this mess in the morning. Think about what you are trying to do –  win your customer? Keep them from blasting you on Twitter?  Cough up the extra hard work to keep them from despising you.

You may think it’s too late for some of this, but if you have already failed on #1, try to do better on #2. If you failed on #2, try #2 once again. Show some humility, show some vulnerability, over perform, and exceed expectations. It’s never too late to realize you screwed up and try to make it up to someone.

It’s a small world, and it’s a virtual world, especially in IT.  Good service providers? I will have their back. But bad service providers can’t get away from themselves.

For Your Customers, Be Humble and Be Honest
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