If you work in a position in which you provide any sort of service I have a simple suggestion. As a general rule of thumb it is a bad idea to lie to your customer. It is one of those things that can have severe ramifications.
Consider for a moment what happens if you get caught in the lie. It doesn’t engender confidence and you risk more than losing a single customer. In the age of the Internet it is exceptionally simple for customers to air their grievances with you and your organization to millions of people. That may sound like hyperbole but sometimes it is better safe than sorry.
And the example above doesn’t take into account whether said customer will be angry enough to try and pursue resolution through other means. Specifically they may choose to go over your head and complain to management and in theory that could find them at the highest levels of your organization. Your position may not be jeopardized by this, or maybe it will be. You just don’t know.
Normally I speak for myself, but I am going to step out onto a limb and suggest that many people are angered by being lied to. I know that it incenses me. It does more than tick me off. I don’t mind when people respond to my questions by telling me that they do not know the answer. I find that to be a suitable response. It may be frustrating, but it is honest.
The impetus for this post comes from an interaction I had earlier today. The yahoo I spoke with lied to me about the difficulty of uploading some information to an online site. Not only did they make up some nonsense about how hard it is to do so, but they compounded the problem by telling me that my business isn’t that important. It was something like:
“Mr. Shack, you are one of many people asking for this information so you are just going to have to wait. It probably will take between 5-7 days.”
Call me confused, but if you can take digital photos of my children and have the results prepared in less than an hour I fail to see why it would take 5-7 days to provide me with online access to said photos.
More to the point when you tell me that I will have access upon the same day as the pictures were taken I wonder why I haven’t got it.
Anyway, this was a very mild rant but I am due for something larger soon. Stay tuned.