So, here I am trying to deal with a banking problem. I’ve called customer service and after going through what seems like a hundred million different prompts I finally give up and just keep dialing “0” multiple times every time it asks me to make a choice. After it repeatedly tried to get me to answer with the “correct” answer (that’s “correct” as defined by the computer, the bank, or some weasel in their IT Department that just thinks this is all too funny) I finally score a small victory when the computer gives up and says it’s going to transfer me to a human.
So I wait. After what seems like another eternity the phone picks up with a voice saying, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, my name is Brian McGee, blah, blah, blah.” The reason I’m saying that he says “blah” so many times is that by this time I’ve pretty much tuned out anything that anyone at this bank has to say. However, what does catch my attention is when he says his name is Brian McGee. Why does this catch my attention? Very simply, because this Brian McGee has an Indian accent.
Now I know that Great Britain has had an enormous influence in the world. And I know that sometimes foreign influence can have a major impact on the culture of a country elsewhere in the world. Just spend a little time in Tokyo and tell me that America hasn’t had an influence on their country.
But back to the case at hand. I also know that the names “Brian” and “McGee” are probably two of the most desired names for people outside Ireland. Okay, I don’t know that but given what’s happening at this moment in the conversation I’m telling you about it does cross my mind. What I’m hearing is this man with an Indian accent telling me he’s Brian McGee. All I can figure is that his parents were so impressed by those names that they named their child Brian and changed their last name to McGee so that their offspring would benefit from that name. Of course I could be wrong. Brian himself may have changed his last name.
Regardless, what I am positive about is that no major banking institution in America would possibly send their customer service calls to another country and then condone the people in that country trying to pretend they are from western society. Certainly no executive would want to use misrepresentation as the basis to start a relationship with a customer who calls for service. That couldn’t possibly happen…. Or could it?
If all this makes you think of those television commercials where the guy with the Slavic accent answers the customer service phone and tells the customer his name is Peggy, then you’re understanding what I encountered.
What kind of idiot in management allows this kind of thing? Who thinks that a customer is going to believe it, let alone feel they can trust an institution that would allow this kind of dishonesty? If you start a relationship on deception it has no place to go but down.
It doesn’t work in your personal life, why would it work in business? Businesses who hire someone who they later find out to not be who they claimed to be will fire the individual. Why? Because they cannot trust them. Trust is essential to building a long lasting and beneficial relationship.
If you want to have long lasting relationships with repeat business from your customers you need to build your relationship with honesty. If you want to have referrals from your customers to other customers you have to build your relationship with honesty. Trust is built with honesty. That’s why the garbage that some call salesmanship that’s being purported by so many big name sales trainers and managers today is nothing short of destructive. Sure, dishonesty might make a quick sale. It might make you a quick buck, but it won’t keep bringing them back for more.
If you want to build your business for the long term, you can’t be Brian McGee.