People Who Live in Glass Houses Should Stay Off My Bumper

"GlassI am driving along down
the highway, minding my own business, going about the speed limit plus 5 in the
right lane. Suddenly a van appears behind me, so close I can see the scowl on
the face of the harried driver. In response, I drop back to the speed limit and
moments later the van pulls around me. During his pass I notice his one finger
salute and then he pulls away and cuts into the lane in front of me. As he
drives away I make a mental note of his business name and location; it's
plastered over the vehicle for all to see. People that live in glass
houses- it's been said they should not throw stones. But it's also
important they watch what they do; after all everyone can see what they're up


The harried driver was an
employee, not the business owner. I found that out when I called the number on
the truck to inform them that one of their drivers had nearly run me off the
road. They were quite apologetic, but I made it very clear they left a very bad impression with me. I suggested to them it would be worth
their while if they reminded their employees that they are ambassadors for the
business- very obvious ones at that! My harried driver may have been late
for an appointment but he took his personal agenda out on me. For all I know
his company may be one that I could do business with; but the damage
is done and I doubt will ever have the opportunity to find out.

Whether you're in a
vehicle with advertising on it, on the phone, in person or otherwise, you
and your employees are the public face of your business. What is said and
done says a lot about the business (even if it has nothing to do with the
business). I'm not talking about mannerisms and appearances- I'm talking
about treating people well. Employee rudeness, intolerance, impatience and
annoyance do not make for a positive customer experience. Occasionally the
unhappy customer may file a complaint or concern. More often I suspect they
simply go away and share their experience with others- lots of
others! This cannot be good for business. So what to do?

  • Assess the status quo- take a look at the current state of your business
    behavior. Is it on track? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Get input
    from an array of vested parties- customers, employees, vendors, etc.

And once
you know where you are:

  • Set the example- practice the Golden Rule– do unto others as you
    would have them do unto you; let your employees know that treating people right
    is part of the business culture and that is expected in the workplace AND beyond.
  • Encourage feedback- let your customers, employees, vendors and other contacts know
    that feedback is wanted and make it easy for them to provide it
  • Take action- feedback is worthless unless it is assessed and serves as the basis
    for change; make sure that people know that their feedback matters.

Don't leave the
reputation for your business in the hands of a harried driver or a frustrated
clerk- your' business is like a glass house and rest assured, people can see in, very clearly.

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