I Am Responsible!

Let’s dive right in where we left off in the last post with an experience I had recently while helping my mom with something. We had attempted to use an online service to fill a very specific need that should have been fairly simple. We took the necessary hour or so to work through the questionnaire tool on the company’s website and received a message that we’d be receiving the legal documents we needed within a few hours. Simple enough…

Except it wasn’t!

In reviewing the documents, almost none of the details we provided were included. For that matter, the title of what we received didn’t even resemble the selection we made when we started the online process. I submitted a help ticket clarifying what we were looking for and received a response from what seemed to be a real person almost immediately outlining the exact step necessary to get what we were looking for. The only problem was that those were the same steps we had taken on our own to begin with…

Having already wasted an hour of our lives doing that, only to receive something that wasn’t even close to what we needed and then be told to do the same thing over again, I responded by explaining that since we had already done just that I was sure they’d be able to pull the data we already submitted and provide us with the correct document. I also gave them an out; I told them that a refund would be fine if they couldn’t do that.

Minutes later, I received an email showing that a refund had been issued. Immediately after that, I received a second email informing me that their job wasn’t to provide me with a basic education and that the incorrect document was completely our fault; you know, for following the instructions they had on their website and the same instructions they sent as a reply to my support ticket…

Had that reply been given face to face, I would have likely offered to take my belt off and put them over my knee… Since that wasn’t the case, I did let them know that they should be thanking whoever they pray to that I wasn’t their supervisor!

Earlier this week, I experienced the exact opposite with another company. There were some tech issues that traced back to what I pay them for so I contacted them for support. As it turned out, the issue was impacting their clients all over the world. Soon after getting a response from one of the tech people, we also received an email from the president of the company accepting full responsibility for the issue and clearly explaining what he and the entire team working with him were doing to resolve it.

The first scenario I described was relatively insignificant but that company accepted no responsibility whatsoever. In fact, every single customer review that for three stars or less (out of five) had a response from the company insulting that customer’s intelligence, integrity, or both!

The second scenario was far more critical. But guess which of those two companies I’ll be doing business with moving forward…

Here’s the thing: whether we succeed or fail on any given day, our own long term success ties directly back to whether or not we’re willing to accept responsibility for using the tools we have access to AND being accountable for the mistakes we make along the way. If we give into that instinct to look for where we can place the blame as quickly as we can so we can look good in that instant, we’ll never be able to move beyond that finger pointing! As I referenced in my most recent LinkedIn article, the best tools and advice only work when we do! And that work often means saying I AM RESPONSIBLE!


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