A friend of mine recently showed me a letter from a customer of theirs who felt it necessary to inform their legal department that my friends company had failed to follow through on a commitment. In this case it was merely an email, although obviously quite an important one, that had not been sent as promised. I don’t know what it was supposed to contain but I assume this was the straw that broke the camel’s back as opposed to the first failed commitment.
We make promises & commitments all the time, most of us follow through on these because we know the ramifications if we don’t. However, there are some in this world, and for some reason many in the business world, that do not seem to feel the same way. They don’t seem to feel that a commitment or promise actually means anything. It may have been a case of “tell them anything to get them off our back” (Very bad practice!). It could have been a commitment or promise that was not made with full consciousness (we often use language that is unclear or ambiguous or worse, is clear but not clearly what we mean). It could have been with the best of intentions but not prioritised highly enough by the one who gave it (didn’t realise how big of a deal it was to the customer).
Whatever the reason, when we are dealing with customers (and ideally with everyone) we should choose our words carefully, mean what we say & follow through with our commitments. This is obvious, at least to most of us, but obviously not to all. The image demonstrates commitment rather well if you ask me. Most of us our committed, we’ll do just about anything to deliver to our customers, often to our own detriment. Some of us though, are merely involved, we’ll deliver, but only if it doesn’t take too much effort.
Which one are you?