Jeff Judy

Jeff's Thoughts - March 5 , 2008

It's All My Fault

"I am sorry that we have not been provide what you were looking for. It is not something the computer decided or did. It is not because my manager is an idiot. It is not because my assistant or my analyst is not very good, and it is not because we have ridiculous, restrictive policies that keep me from serving customers.

"No, it is simply the case that I looked at what you wanted, as well as what would serve you best, and at what would also serve my company well, and I have decided that I can't offer you exactly what you requested. If you are upset, I certainly understand, and you would be correct to be upset with me, because it was my decision."

When was the last time you didn't get what you wanted from a company or vendor and your complaint met with that kind of response? I'll bet you can't remember hearing anything like that in a long time.

How about the last time a customer had a beef with your bank, whether it was a fee they were charged, a credit denial, a change of terms, or a problem with online or ATM access? Did the person who fielded the complaint say, "I'm sorry, but that's what I have to do" -- or even, if the customer is right, "I'm sorry for the inconvenience, I am going to make sure this gets fixed" -- rather than, "The computer says . . .", "Our policy is . . .", "The analyst recommended . . .", "My manager won't . . ."?

Admit it. As a customer of other businesses, you hate it when you get all the excuses, the whole "it's not my fault" routine. You listen to that blather and think about where you could find someone else to provide that service.

Want to be a hero to your bank? Be the one who steps up and accepts responsibility. Call it "taking the blame," if you wish, but remember that that really means "serving the customer." You are providing a service to the customer when you give him or her someone to blame, someone to point at and say, "That person is responsible for my problem."

It takes a little guts, it isn't the easy way out. Your customers don't come to you for the easy way out, they come to you for a real response to their concerns, a real interest in providing them with quality service.

The more often you say, "It's my fault!" the more loyal your customers become. You know that is true when you are the customer. Make it true for your own customers as well, and you will quickly distinguish yourself from the competition.