Today I had a challenge with some technology that affects our firm. The key issue is we are paying for poor performing technology, so I contacted the service provider to discuss the issues that we are having.
In my initial interaction with the service provider, I asked if we could receive some sort of partial credit because of the extended dysfunction and lack of an acceptable base performance level of our devices.
Based upon the answers from multiple customer service personnel, the problem is systemic, and its resolution cannot be immediate.
The intangible or factor X that could have been used to maintain my firm’s business is professional courtesy or in layman’s terms “being nice and kind.” The costs to being nice are negligible as it pertains to the end game; maintaining business continuity through customer retention and ongoing revenue generation.
We all look to provide a product that would evoke these types of feelings from an employee and also prospective customers:
- A more optimistic and happier outlook on life
- A heightened sense of well being
- A sense of exhilaration, euphoria and increase in energy
- A feeling of being healthy
- Decreased feelings of loneliness, depression and helplessness
- A greater sense of calmness and relaxation and increased longevity
- Better weight control and a stronger immune system
- A reduction in pain and increased body warmth
- A healthier cardiovascular system (reduction of high blood pressure, improved circulation, reduced coronary disease)
- A reduction of excessive stomach acid
- Relief from arthritis and asthma
- Speedier recovery from illness and surgery
- Reduced cancer activity
According to “The Healing Power of Doing Good” (Fawcett Columbine, 1991) written by Allan Luks and Peggy Payne, being kind and helpful creates the aforementioned responses. You mean I can provide my customers with a pleasurable experience, even though my product or service may have failed them? Yes! Those aforementioned feelings translate to a retained customer who could not only be sympathetic to your service or product challenge, but cause them to be stubbornly adhered to you as a goods and services provider.
I encourage executives to nurture an environment where people are treated nicely. Train and develop your technicians, secretaries, delivery persons, janitors, executives and contractors representing you or your product to make kindness and respect as much of a product offering as the goods and services you provide.
Clearly, there are steps and methodologies to develop a culture of kindness; and it may require the need for organizational behavior modification; but I promise you this: Your share value will not have decreased by 7%, and your choice clients will not have left to the tune of 259,000 customers, while you are investing billions of dollars in infra-structure improvements, and taking on a product line with a calculated short-term profit loss strategy; only to have a customer response team drive off the very patrons you are taking these risks to attract and retain.
Be intentionally nice, be intentionally kind; there is profit, stability and growth in the behavior.
Written By: Gregory Timmons, Senior Partner