A design company is hired to set up a cafeteria in a new retirement community. The company doesn’t listen to the needs of the organization, and once the facility is opened, there are equipment failures and design flaws. Calls are repeatedly made to the company to help resolve these punch list issues, but to no avail.
Months pass, and the design company shows up to take pictures of their newest project for their portfolio. Their request is promptly dismissed by the unhappy organization. Why should they, was the argument, let the company take credit for a project that failed to meet the needs of the customer? Within the subsequent months, they made it a point to inform other facilities not to use this company. It was found later that the design company had an infamous reputation for poor service.
Whether its purchasing a new car, launching a sales initiative, or even the interaction between two individuals, a lot of credibility can be lost during these transactions if the mutual needs of both parties are not thoroughly met.
What’s left after the purchase, the sale, the customer experience, the contract? Buyer’s remorse is usually not the result of the product purchased, but of the lack of character carried beyond the transaction itself.
The main exchange of every transaction, whether for goods, services, or even just a casual business relationship, is character.
If the design company mentioned above had a modicum of character, what do you think the outcome of the situation would be? Would the retirement community have been more satisfied? Could the company have also benefited long term by more referrals? Would their reputation have instilled a sense of trust in their overall character to even consider doing business with them?
It takes a great deal of short shortsightedness for any business or organization to shortchange trust and credibility for a quick gain of revenue or marketability. Character matters, perhaps even more so today, and people look to have that as part of any transaction.
I have an extended family member who just today asked us to name a trustworthy mechanic to give her a second opinion on what a dealer’s repair shop told her they needed to fix. Whether this shop has integrity in their operation I have no idea, but due to the void of honest mechanics in our area the local industry is somewhat tainted in the confidence of being serviced by any of them.
The lack of character in which one gives in any exchange may have more far reaching implications than just a lack of referrals or lost market share. It has the potential to taint local economies and even entire industries.
To truly build a personal or company brand, to have a point of differentiation, or to instigate positive disruption in an industry or the world, one must give a fair shake of character in every point of contact.
How can you ensure a transaction of character in your world today?
(image courtesy of washingtonlaborandemploymentblog.com)