GROWING YOUR BUSINESS: Be careful what you say

Growing your businessby Dan Beaulieu
Business consultant

A true story. One of our relatives in a nearby town was having trouble with her furnace and needed a repair person. She called the man that had been taking care of her furnace for years. He came over and found that all he had to do was reset the furnace and everything would be fine. He said that there would be no charge and showed her the switch so next time she could reset the furnace herself. He was not gone 15 minutes when the furnace conked out again.

Not wanting to bother the repairman again that night she and her daughter, who was visiting, decided to add more blankets to their beds, tough it out and call the repairman in the morning.

The next morning the daughter called the repairman, and he proceeded to blast her for bothering him, read her the proverbial riot act for bothering him, but in the end, with some persuasion grumbled he would come later that day.

He never showed up!

Whereupon the daughter called another company, they sent a man out right away. There was something wrong with the furnace, it was missing a part. They fixed it in 30 minutes, handed her the bill and went on their merry way.

Now here is where the story gets interesting.

The daughter was very active on social media, especially Facebook…I think you can see where this is going.

The daughter promptly got on Facebook and told the story including naming names and recommending that no one should ever use this repairman again. Her post went out to over the 200 people to whom she was connected!

Wow! What repairmen should have realized was that in this new world order people are connected, and people talk to each other, especially when they have been poorly served enough to be angry.

Just imagine for a minute the kind of negative publicity this repairman is now getting!

But the real point here is that no person or company, or organization, should ever talk to their customers the way this repairman did. Nor should any person serving the public ever complain about doing a job for a customer.

The rule of thumb pre-social media used to be that if a customer has a complaint, he is going to tell a number of people and in the end, about 100 people would hear about it. Now in these days of social media that number increases to literally hundreds if not thousands of people. And if the story is bad enough it could go viral, then millions of people could see it.

Those of us in business should always appreciate our customers and the business they send our way. The minute we stop doing that, and let the customer see, that is the day your business will stop growing. And that my friends is no way to be growing your business.


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