Ethical Business Practices and Happy Customers

More than a few things on my mind right now. What I would like to discuss and what I can write about are not the same. Item one is a personal issue. Maybe I will want to write about it at a future time, but not today. Item two is about politics.

Not sure anything I have read or been told relating to politics ever changed my mind, so why write about politics? What is important in politics are the issues which the political candidates choose not to talk about.

Not writing about politics leaves me with ethics. There are two broad categories of ethics, business and personal ethics. At times those lines get crossed, usually at the expense of both the business and the customer.

I was a long time user of a certain product paid for on a monthly basis. Unfortunately the costs kept going up while the service remained the same. The product was electronic, and as we all know the cost of technology keeps dropping. Yet the cost of the product kept rising. Hmmm.

Managing a home these days is something like running a small business. Costs have to be kept under control. Funds must be managed. I cancelled my service request with the company providing the service. They were very nice about my canceling and asked me if I would mind doing a little debrief for them, so they could improve on their customer offerings, and their service. I agreed, and the questions started.

It turns out there were less expensive options the company offered which would have more than met my requirements, for one-fourth the price! I was made aware of this option and offered this option on the service exit interview.

If the company chose to be proactive and wanted to provide customer satisfaction at a reasonable price, it could have. This would keep customers like myself from paying for options they do not need. technology os a wonderful thing. Databases can be searched in an instant.

Instead the company is reactive. They noticed upon exiting the service I was paying too much for and was not using. The company now offered me a steeply discounted service plan which I declined as I already made other arrangements.

A few weeks later I received a call from a hostile employee of the company in question telling me I did not end the service correctly. All “I could say was, Sorry, your paper trail is not my problem, thank you.” I was not happy with the employees manners and mannerisms. After all I am now an ex customer they wanted back.

A second line crossing of business ethics running into personal ethics happened more recently. A conversation was initiated by someone who was planning on offering a unique service to me. Of course the initial conversation was friendly and personable. This way a cold call could be avoided by the seller.

There was some period of general conversation over a few days. After a few days the business end of the reason for making contact made an appearance. I explained nicely why I would not be interested in the service. At that moment all form of conversation stopped.

I understand people with a small business ventures need to make a living. I understand that people need to promote their business. Prompting a conversation that on the surface appears to be personal interest based, to later flip the conversation into a business proposal crosses personal and business ethics lines. In other words the conversation was muddied by not representing themselves and what they wanted up front.

If you are part of a large business and have input into how its customers are treated, please start looking out for your customers best interests before they call you up to cancel their account. The company I dropped could have retained me as a happy customer if they searched their database and noticed there was a more appropriate plan I could be changed to some time previous to my dropping them.

If you own a small business, I caution you to remember the old saying, “Never mix business with pleasure.” For any business, do not try to repair the bridge after the bridge has collapsed from poor workmanship. Why would I want to trust either the business or individual again? It would be the same as re-marrying your Ex who did you wrong one to many times before the divorce.