Recently we moved the sales portion of our offices into the business incubator
in Sandpoint. We are getting new office furniture for our main office and moving
the old desks down to the incubator. Until the new stuff arrives, we are borrowing
a slightly broken desk from the nice folks at the incubator. A fellow tenant fixed
the dilapidated desk for us and in the process gave us a great piece of advice. He
said that after 20 years in business, he’d learned that “the most important thing
you can do to keep your clients happy is show up.”
Showing up is an aspect of one of my favorite business (and personal)
axioms: do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it.
Showing up for work or an appointment is not only common courtesy, it’s also fufilling
Think about it: if Microsoft had done what it said it would do and provided
the software it promised—i.e., software with no bugs that truly was easy to
use—maybe it wouldn’t have angered so many people and wouldn’t be in the throes
of litigation right now.
Promises should be important. In a world full of hype, mistrust, and
misunderstanding, it’s becoming rare to find people who actually do what they say
they’ll do. It seems so obvious, but I’m starting to wonder if the real reason behind
the high rate of business failures is just people not keeping their promises. I’ve
had countless people fail to return calls and others who just plain don’t show up
for confirmed meetings.
Call me old-fashioned, but driving 200 miles round trip to be stood up is
not my idea of a good time. This level of rudeness, frankly, astonishes me. After
all, the term customer service means serving the customer. It doesn’t mean lying
to customers or saying what they want to hear just to get their money.
Buying anything related to computers can be expensive, and choosing
the wrong vendor can be even more expensive. Our Bit Bucket editorial on page 23
is yet another story that relates what happens when people don’t do what they
say they’ll do. My husband and I had a similar experience with a company that
sold used tractors. Now they’re out of business too. Gee, I wonder why?
So here’s our promise to you: when you call Logical Expressions, yes, we
will call you back. And if you ask us about programming, editing, or this magazine, we
will talk to you honestly and not make any promises we can’t keep. If we can’t
do something for some reason, we’ll tell you that too. And most importantly, if
you invite us to a meeting, we will show up.