One day a maid thought, “My mistress has a very good reputation: I wonder whether she is good by nature, or is good because of her surroundings. I will try her and find out.” The following morning the maid did not appear before her mistress until nearly noon. The mistress was vexed and scolded her impatiently. The maid replied, “If I am lazy for only a day or two, you ought not to become impatient.” Then the mistress became angry.
The next day the maid got up late again. This made the mistress very angry and she struck the maid with a stick. This incident became widely known and the rich widow lost her good reputation.
Many people are like this woman. While their surroundings are satiafactory they are kind, modest and quiet, but it is questionable if they will behave likewise when the conditions change and become unsatisfactory.
(Copyright 1966 by Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, “The Teaching Of Buddha”)
Tough times do not build a business’ character, they reveal it. Is your customer service department stressed? Does that show up in the levels of customer service? Are you sacrificing customer service to keep that extra few cents only to lose long term sales with unhappy customers? When your customer service answers the phone are they looking for the good in how they can help or are they looking for ways to just have the problems conveniently go away.
Businesses that last long term continue to provide positive and affirming attitudes and service even when the times are challenging and intense. It is under stressful market conditions that you can grow your customer base the easiest with outstanding service because much of your competition is passing their stress onto their consumers. What reputation is your company building in these competitive times?