Customer Service: Accept Responsibility for Fixing Errors

The key to integrity online? Accept resonsibility!

[Editor's Note: I received three articles in close succession, offering different slants on customer service. jl scott (lower case at the author's request) talks about accepting responsibility, Tim Geiger discusses building loyalty through great service and great employees, and Wally Bock demonstrates the power of a strong, informed staff through his own experience. At the bottom of each, you'll find direct links to the others.]

While I was growing up, my daddy used to tell me, "It's your decision. You have to make it. But be prepared to take responsibility for whatever decision you make."

Yikes! Now, THAT will make a kid stop and think!

Stepping up to the plate to take responsibility is one of the things I look for in those I choose to do business with. There can be no higher ethical standard. In our online businesses, we make decisions every day. Even a small decision can come back and bite us in the butt.

We make mistakes. We make thoughtless choices. We sometimes get involved with online programs without thinking about the repercussions. Stuff happens.

The question isn't whether we're smart enough to avoid all that. We can't. The question is whether we're willing to be accountable when we screw up.

Now, is this about customer service? You bet it is! But it's also about how we deal with other businesses - as well as life itself. And it's about telling - and accepting - the truth!

Can you make money without accountability? Sure you can! It's done every day. But when push comes to shove, you'll be the one going over the cliff.

Those willing to step up to the plate when necessary don't hide their contact information. You don't have to try to beat them out of the bushes. You won't have to threaten them to get a refund. They tell you the whole story right up front.

If they're not willing to do that - they're not willing to be accountable should something go awry. They're not willing to say, "I was wrong. How can we fix this?"

The absolute best way to establish a sterling online reputation as a business owner is to, "Be prepared to take responsibility for whatever decision you make!" It's a matter of integrity - and it will earn you the respect of both your customers and your business associates.

There is no higher compliment!

dr. jl scott is the Director of the International Council of Online Professionals (iCop), producer of iCop Conference 2001 - the conference created especially for home based online businesses! Subscribe to iCop's free ezine, MONDAY MEMO!

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