What’s Your Word Worth?

I received word on Tuesday that the bouquet of roses I ordered 3 weeks ago was unsuccessfully delivered. Luckily, I still had time to save the day so I raced over to the florist to find that the driver was still out making deliveries and was “on his way back”. Forty-five minutes passed and still no driver, so the florist suggested I head home and she would personally see to it that the roses were redelivered as soon as the driver got back. An hour passed and still no roses; my hopes fading fast, I called the shop only to be greeted by a godforsaken answering machine. Ironically, the recorded greeting asked that a message not be left because the florist was too busy fulfilling Valentine’s Day orders.

Your Word = Your Responsibility

Some businesses have absolutely no shame when it comes to making promises and going back on their word. Whatever the reason may be (a bad employee, miscommunication, understaffed, too busy, et cetera), it is sad to think that a customer’s patronage can be taken for granted. I think business owners need to understand that giving their word means taking the responsibility to guarantee the outcome of their word no matter what it takes. And I’m not just talking about crediting the bill whenever something goes awry, I’m talking about doing everything to ensure that mistakes are not made whether it’s developing an elaborate system of checks and balances, micromanaging employees until they themselves understand the concept of responsibility, or rolling up their sleeves and personally making a delivery themselves.

Learn To Say No

I understand that my ideas on responsibility may not be the most pragmatic approach to running a business, yet it doesn’t take much to figure out that customers will begin to abandon ship once they’ve been taken for granted. Being able to understand what your company can and cannot promise is key, and being able to just say no when your company cannot fulfill a promise may even be a better alternative to loosing customers through bad business.

So What’s Your Word Worth?

In the past, I can’t say that I’ve always kept my word. I’ve come to realize how selfish and self-centered I’ve become over the years, and it is truly disappointing to think that someone at one point has found absolutely no truth or worth in the promises I’ve made to them. Even worse is when a person assumes that I won’t follow through with a promise because they’ve been taken for granted by me in the past. Yet to say that the damage has already been done and there is no need to change my ways is just an excuse. I never want someone to think that I’m just full of white lies and the words coming out of my mouth have no worth or value. So for this reason alone I vow to be more open and honest, and vow that I will do whatever it takes to guarantee the outcome of my word whether it’s business or personal.

The Closet Entrepreneur

» This entry was filed under Advice

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