Over the past few years, I have noticed a decided lack of commitment in the business community. No, this is not going to be a millennial rant—you can go to YouTube and find all you want; but recently I have noticed a solid lack of commitment on any number of fronts. And quite frankly, it is disturbing. Especially when there are some (certainly not all) online businesses that are doing it right!
I have written before on follow up. When you promise someone you are going to get more information, you need to do it. Are they considering an upgraded suite? Well, it means more commission to you, so you better follow up.
I was arranging a trip to a new destination for my single parent group. The initial contact was fantastic. They asked all the right questions. They had all the right answers. And then I asked for a price on an amenity and … radio silence. Two phone calls asking for a return call were never returned. I booked elsewhere two weeks ago—and they still don’t know. Even a simple “hey I don’t have the answer but am still working on it” would have appeased me.
I am part of a podcast team in my community and part of that includes a sports recap. For those that know me, I am not a sports nut and certainly not capable of doing a sports report, nor are the others on the team. So, what do we do when our sports guy neglects to show on the (arguably) most important sports day of the year—Super Bowl Monday? If you are going to do something see it through.
There are some people that do value commitment. This past Saturday, I attended a home and garden expo in my town. It’s always a lot of fun to get some home improvement ideas that I will never implement. They had some guest presenters, The Cousins, who had several shows on HGTV and DIY Network. The one cousin, Anthony Carrino was on crutches and when I asked, he explained. Last Sunday he was motorcycling in Patagonia (props for that) and had an accident breaking his ankle in two spots and dislocating it in the process. Thirty minutes for the next passing car to discover them, an hour to get emergency help, two casting and re-sets of the break in Chile, four flights back to the US and a doctor appointment to schedule surgery—and he still made it to the home show! I questioned it and he simply said “I’m big on commitment.” In fact, he told his doctor that he had another commitment next weekend in New Hampshire and needed to have the surgery as early in the week as possible. Quite likely Anthony is going under the knife as you read this.
Talk about a difference!
It is becoming more and more difficult to be in business today. There are so many variables involved. While I don’t think that a computer will ever surpass human interaction in a sale. I do believe that many consumers are willing to forego the human element in return for convenience. A perfect example is Amazon. I needed a specialized cord for a computer. I could not find it locally, so I went online. Amazon had it. They shipped it. It was the wrong one (my fault). They shipped a replacement without having the original one back. No human, but I am happy and likely will return to Amazon if I need another specialized cord.
Don’t fall victim to it. As humans and agents the one thing we have that a computer will never offer is our human-ess (just made that up I think). Don’t let that slip away because you let something fall through the cracks. Keep your customers informed about where you are in the process. Give them deadlines and honor them. Commit to your business. Commit to your customers. And then reap the rewards!