They Didn't Do What They Were Supposed to
By Ron Rosenberg
I have to say that this month has been a particularly frustrating one for me when it comes to people not doing what they say they’re going to do and impacting my ability to get things accomplished.
I’m finding that a lot of people simply do not share my value for meeting commitments, and I believe there are a couple of reasons for this:
- It’s sometimes difficult to do
- It takes planning and execution
- You may have to give up something you’d like to do instead
Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about.
We purchased a dinette set from a large furniture company in High Point, NC, the furniture capital of the United States.
We had some problems initially with the top of the table, which has a copper metal finish. We got it replaced and we were good to go.
Unfortunately, less than two years later, the finish started to bubble and blister. They initially said there was nothing they could do since the manufacturer was no longer in business.
After we pushed back a little, they did acknowledge that the furniture they sold should last more than two years. So they handed me off to a sales rep who they said would take care of everything for us.
That’s where the problems began because in our situation the sales rep would make no commission on the transaction, so he had no vested interest in meeting the company’s commitment to replace my furniture...at least financially.
I tried to contact the sales rep, but didn’t get any response back. When we finally touched base, I told him exactly what I wanted to replace the table–a wood top and wrought iron legs.
I waited for him to send me some pictures or links to tables he had found. Unfortunately, days went by and it didn’t happen.
We decided, much to our dismay, that we would need to drive to High Point to look for a set, but I wanted to get some pictures prior to our trip to see if there was anything for us to even look at.
He was supposed to have these to us by Friday afternoon as we were traveling there on Saturday morning. I got an email at 5 pm on Friday that said he didn’t get to it and had gone home. Needless to say, we were furious and didn’t make the trip on Saturday.
After that, we asked for another sales rep. This person got us some pictures but obviously paid no attention to what we said we were looking for, so we set up an appointment with the rep to visit the store on Saturday and view our options in person.
Friday afternoon, the rep e-mailed me and said he had forgotten about a family commitment he had and that we’d have to meet early in the morning or reschedule our appointment (this is now about two months after we got initial approval to get the new table).
At this point, things had clearly gone too far, and we e-mailed him back to say that we'd be in High Point at the time we agreed upon and he would have to find us another rep (No. 3) to work with us on Saturday.
The point of this story is that it’s absolutely critical that you do what you say you’re going to do for your customers and not make excuses or blame other departments. Frankly, this is important in everything you do.
There are so many reasons why it’s important to meet your commitments:
Create Good Will
The furniture vendor had the ability to make good on a potential problem and ended up making a bad situation even worse. When you deliver on your promises, people know they can count on you.
Instill Brand Loyalty
When you can depend on a company to do the right thing, even if there is a problem, it creates a loyalty that’s difficult to break. I’ll think twice about shopping at this furniture store in the future.
Build Integrity for You and Your Organization
It’s so important in business and in your personal life for people to believe in what you say you’re going to do...whether it’s meeting a friend for an aerobics class (which you’ve committed to) or having a product delivered to your customer by an agreed upon date.
Meeting commitments begins with you. Think about your commitments and whether you’re actually following through on them.
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