Don’t Make People Wait. In a Downturn, Use Time to Show You Care


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I read a great article in Tyler Brule’s column in the Financial Times over the weekend.

Apparently making people wait for a meeting to show how important you are has gotten out of control in the US. And it shows a culture that simply doesn’t care about the time of people who have come to see you, whether they be a general business appointment or a customer who is left clicking their heels in reception. Here’s a brief extract:

“On a recent trip to New York, a colleague and I were on the brink of getting in the lift without a word and leaving: our host had showed no interest in keeping her appointment and the receptionist was more interested in running a nail bar behind her big desk than playing the role of mistress of first impressions.

“But at the moment we were about to leave, an attentive gentleman rescued his colleague and his company’s reputation with a tactful show of diplomacy and charm. It shouldn’t have been necessary.

“As the ailing economy chokes business and consumers, only those companies that take a cold hard look at how they are treating the people that keep their coffers full – and act accordingly (by improving service) – are the ones that deserve to survive.”

More from Brule’s column on the link below. On the same subject, I also spotted this in the FT over the weekend, which is a good eight-word rule to solve the problem:

“Be gracious with people and ruthless with time.” – Martin Addison, MD, Video Arts

More from Tyler Brule here: Tyler Brule’s FT column

Phil Dourado
Author, Speaker, Independent Consultant
Founding editor of Customer Service Management Journal in the United States, and of its companion title, Customer Service Management Journal (now rebranded as Customer Management Magazine) in the United Kingdom. He is the author of The 6 Second Leader (Capstone, John Wiley & Sons, 27).


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