Lessons From My Father
My dad was a small business owner. He used to tell me, “if you are going to say
YES to a customer, say it fast.” You can substitute customer with client, patient,
guest, or visitor.
What I learned that he meant was this: if in the end of a negotiation or
customer service problem you are going to end up saying YES, say it sooner rather
than later. When you say it up front you get credit for “customer delight” and will
probably retain the client.
If you say YES after days, weeks or months of haggling, you lose the client and still
live with the same concession. Herbie also used the metaphor when you have to
take off a Band-Aid, do it quickly.
This month’s newsletter features three customer service disappointments in
three separate experiences. Communication created customer delight in two of
Two of the experiences solved the problem quickly. One which I have dubbed The
Great American Ice Cream War, took a long time to solve which required a relentless
perseverance. In the end, they did what they could have done in the beginning.