Customer Service, Business Ethics and Values….What’s Gone Wrong?

Can somebody tell me what happened to the old fashion values in business? I can remember a time when all it took was two people to make a verbal agreement, and the deal was done. Customer service lived up to its name, companies instilled good values into their employees, customers came first, and morals and ethics were a “Must” to maintain your job.

I hate calling a company, taking 10 minutes to negotiate my way through a maze to get to the extension that I want to speak with only to get another computer asking me to leave a message. In my company, I want a person to answer the phone by the second ring. The only time I want one of my customers to speak with a machine is if they prefer to leave a phone message. I can tell you that if I have a choice of doing business with a machine or a person, the person wins every time. It may cost me a few cents more but I get it back in service.

What happened to the common courtesy of calling a person and cancelling a meeting before you drive six hours to find that your meeting has been cancelled? I can think of nothing more aggravating than traveling 300 miles to meet with someone (at his or her request), only to arrive and find the person is not there, and there has been no arrangement made for you to meet with someone who has at least a crumb of information on the project. It is inconvenient, costly and time consuming.

What happened to companies with good morals and ethics? In today’s world the larger companies dictate the terms of any purchase orders or contracts with little regard to how it will affect the smaller company. They want to be paid in 30 days, but 60 to 90 days to get paid by them is the norm. They simply tell you that if you do not want to do the deal, they will give it to someone who will. It never crosses their mind that someday, when times are good, they may need that small company. The old saying “What goes around comes around” is very true.

The onus is on management to set the standards for their employees. No better example can be presented than the demise of ENRON CORPORATION. The management instilled values in the company that was mimicked all the way down through the employee chain. That company failed. Just remember: “GOOD EMPLOYEES MAKE A COMPANY, IF THE COMPANY MAKES GOOD EMPLOYEES.”

Jim Kulbeth, Retired Founder
Universal Package