Do Not Lie to Your Customers

December 11, 2010 § 2 Comments

“Hi Coach, what is our next lesson on values?” Jake asked.

“Honesty,” I said. “Never lie to your customers.”

“That seems obvious,” Jake said.

“Yes, however, it is not as easy to keep,” I said.

“What do you mean?” Jake asked.

“One way a person’s character is revealed is when he is desperate,” I said.  “Need or desperation can tempt us to lie.”

“So that we get what we want?” Jake said.

“The problem is, that is a form of manipulation,” I said.  “Manipulators are first liars.”

“How else do people lie to customers aside from desperation,” Jake asked.

“Obsession,” I said

“You mean greed,” Jake said.

“And that is not only true for individuals,” I said. “It is also true for corporations.”

“Well, that is what the global crisis is about…” Jake said.  “Unhealthy competition and outright greed.”

“Never lie to your customers Jake,” I said. “If you do, you lose them faster than a free fall.  And the hope for recover is bleak.”

“I understand the gravity,” Jake said.

“Customers include your internal customers,” I said.

“You mean the people I work with,” Jake replied, “the other departments in my corporation.”

“Yes,” I said. “Deal with them with honesty and integrity.”

“Of course,” Jake said. “Otherwise, it would be hard to live with it.  I would not be able to sleep.”

“You’ll be surprised,” I said,  “that some can sleep soundly despite betraying their own words.”

“I guess there are people like that, huh,” Jake said.

“If your customers trust you,” I said, “then you are in a good position.  Keep that trust.”

“I think that can be applied even in government,” Jake said.

“Absolutely.”

“And products we offer the market, food, medicine, construction, homes…” Jake said.

“Absolutely.”

“But I am sure some get away with lying,” Jake said.

“Yes they do,” I said. “But I believe in the law of the farm.  What you sow, you reap.  If you do not reap the consequences now, you will, later.”

“You are saying, if you fool others now, someday it will catch up with you,” Jake said.

“Right,” I said “If you sow bad, one day it will return to you a hundred-fold.”

“Of course, the opposite is true,” Jake said.  “If you sow goodwill to others, you will reap goodwill.”

“Yes but the source of the return is not always directly where you sowed,” I said. “It may behave like a vine.”

“Meaning?” Jake asked.

“You may have made a customer happy and he has reciprocated by being loyal,” I said. “But, he may share a good word to others about you…”

“And you reap the blessings from these new sources,” Jake said.

“Everyone is tempted to compromise integrity for convenience, greed, competition, need,” I said.  “But remember that the consequence of lying to your customers is more fatal than you think.”

“I got it coach.  If they found out you lied, you can lose them for good,” Jake said.  “Thanks for the reminder.”

“See you next week Jake.”

© Eduardo R. Pilapil Jr. 2010

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