This was not an attempt to get the employee fired we need more people working these days. I stated in fact I would rather you keep him on, with my strategy I have a system that will train every single one of your employees on the importance of your reputation but that’s another message this message is about the report only, and I have no plans to put this businesses name on public display.
This is just something I think start-up business owners as well as seasoned businesses should keep an eye on when sections of their business deals directly with the public.
Also for businesses just in the planning stages the problem outlined below could happen in your business one day as well, especially if you are a start up business and plan to grow. The events described below are all true and could be present in whatever business you are in this statement applies to you.
There has been a major shift in marketing, you and every other consumer wants to do business with a reputable business, when you network, you want to do so with a reputable business, right.
People will search the internet and check out your reputation before ever visiting your website or your business and they are doing business with the most reputable business. If your reputation says you cannot be trusted the consumer will just find someone they can trust.
There are many ways to find out if you have a reputation problem, here is just one way. If you type into a Google search any business name and their city, what you will see are the directories and other places their reputation shows up. The person searching may have only your name and phone number and they want to know more about you or they may be simply searching just be looking for directions to your business.
Did you know that all they need to do is type in the business name and the phone number and your reputation is on display for the world to see?
Why is this important? There was a study done not long ago and what was discovered was that consumer opinions posted online are trusted more than businesses realize, and the consumers posting are your customers.
As posted on the ‘Nielsen: Global Consumers’ Trust in ‘Earned’ Advertising Grows in Importance says “Ninety-two percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising.”
An Employee Destroying His Employers Reputation and Causing Massive Loss of Revenue With One Simple Act
I was allocating some freight for relocation at a local distribution center for a popular well know business which I shall keep their name private but the city was in Atlanta, Georgia recently and I filed this report with the CEO about the damage that could be done to the business reputation and after reading it what do you think the response was?
On yesterday 1-6-2014.
This should have been a 10 to 15 minute turn around but ended up being over 1 hr an 45 minutes because of an employee that was unaware that his actions can harm the company’s reputation and untimely cause the company to lose business.
I’ve been picking up freight here for years and have seen the 1st shift shipping clerk first hand do what is stated below to truck drivers and more time after time over the years.
For example if a person let’s say it was a “Truck Driver” that approaches the window he/she gets ignored until the clerk feels like it. The astounding thing about this is the clerk with his peripheral side vision he can see you and when he does decide to look at the driver it’s like what do you want?
You are bothering me, now consider this the owner does not know anything about this display of attitude being displayed. The shipping clerk forgot he represents the business owner, this is not his business to treat customers how he wants to and when he wants to.
I’m looking for businesses that want to make a change from within, businesses that want their employees to want to give great customer service and build a great 5 star reputation.
As you read this article please note how many people dropped what they were doing to deal with this problem.
Here are the facts as they happened on 1-6-2014.
I presented the clerk with the pickup number and immediately left the window to get out of his way because I did not want the same experience happening to me that I have seen happened to other drivers. The shipping clerk looked into his computer system for the load and calls me back to the window and says “that’s a bad number it’s not in my system”.
No argument from me, I asked for a recheck but did not get it, so I call my dispatcher the carrier and asks that he double checks his information, which he did, he calls the sales person who booked the load and they both check the website where the load was booked to confirm it was in fact a good pickup load number and it was. He calls me back and tells me it’s good and asks me to once again ask the shipping clerk to recheck.
I had already asked and the shipping clerk would not recheck but I asked again. The clerk says it’s not in my system and would not even attempt to look beyond that point.
I once again called and reported that to my dispatcher “the carrier” and from their end they called someone else at the shipper “XXXXX” that was shipping the load and located a second PO#, and the trailer the load was on and once again asked me to pass the information on to the clerk and ask for a recheck but he had already gone home.
Before I got that call, I was watching him leave and as soon as he left I asked the next shift shipping clerk to double check and he found the load within 2 min.
I got the 2nd shift supervisor involved and he did a lot of documentation to reprimand the employee with, another 20 minutes waiting and while he proceeded to get me checked out and said they would handle the problem on tomorrow.
He says this person knows all he had to do was to get up and ask another person just feet’s away that had an updated list that had not yet been updated into the system.
There is a dollar amount that is taken right from the bottom profit line for the businesses for every one that spent time on this problem all because one person forgot he works for someone else because they could have been working on other projects.
Let’s look at some of the time loss, the terminal yard that I was taking the load to was 20 minutes away, but I spent over 1-3/4 hrs here which should have been a 15 minute turn around.
1. Could not be dispatched on another load
2. Dispatcher spent his time and his assistant’s time researching and verifying the load.
3. The customer service for the shipper spent their time locating the load and relaying the information back to our dispatcher who called me back.
4. There was a 2nd clerk doing the same job that had already been entered.
5. The supervisor of the shipping clerk who was busy on another assignment until he was pulled away from that project to help get me going.
6. There was equipment (the truck) that was sitting not being used, just idle.
Imagine if this was your employee and your business that the shipping clerk worked for or a business that you know well.
Can you see how it could easily an employee could harm your business, just imagine it could be another business that you know very well that has an employee doing the same thing and causing your clients to lose money right from the bottom line?
I’m more interested in making a difference that will help businesses get more customers by ensuring every employee understands that this company’s reputation is on the line every time they interact with a customer.
Let’s switch positions just for a second. Let’s take the event a little further; you know how people exploit the bad information online of offline, right.
Some people could be angry enough at the shipping clerk to post this event as a review on the business directory listing, if it’s a bad review it’s not just going to go away, oh no. That bad review is going to hang around and may even be on the first page for years as the first thing people will see when they check this businesses reputation.
Would you agree with my point here that if this were a published review of the business on their Google + listing and you had no prior knowledge of how reliable this distribution center was that this employee’s actions reflects badly upon his employer’s reputation as a reputable and reliable distribution center?
This employee probably has already caused customers to find another distribution center that’s a given and could cause the company to lose this business and future business and it never crosses his mind that my employer is his customer.
In fact I heard my dispatcher say to the sales person who booked this load that we should drop the load if that’s the attitude they are going to have.
All the while it was not the attitude of the company shipping the product but rather one employee.
And if we went online as the carrier and left this experience for other to read, or if I as a driver without my employer’s knowledge or consent wanted to get back at the shipping clerk, if I went online and left a bad review about the entire incident, hoping that other businesses may read it and decide to use another distribution center for their business how do you think it would impact the shipper.
Can you feel the impact that could happen if this was your business, you as the business owner would never know anything about the review I left, and you cannot get it removed on your own if you were aware of my review. Information is shared all over the web so this review could also be posted on other directories, and on and on.
Very Important point here: In all of this the actual business owner who’s reputation is on the table as being a reliable distribution center does not know anything about what’s really going on or how many times it has happened before.
Keep in mind the years of hard work and many sacrifices the business owner and the CEO have made to get contracts and build the business up is on the table and they have no idea of what’s happening, one day they turn around and their customer is gone somewhere else.
I have a solution to the problem but here’s the rift, I cannot tell the solution to the supervisor he does not have the power to do anything with it. His focus is to deal with the employee, right.
The solution must be presented to the head of the company and come down from above, from the person who has the authority to do something with it down to the employee. It’s the person who’s reputation is on the table that has to be the one to make changes and those changes move down, the person at the bottom of the pile has no desire to want to make change that will improve the company, the sad truth is that they are only there to get a pay check and go home.
Another option for me is if the solution is mentioned to the customer service person hoping that it is passed along to the decision maker they may be the very one’s that are creating the problem and surely they have no desire to pass this information on to the top.
The problem is as I mentioned before in another example about the two truck drivers having a conversation about how to improve things as they are traveling down the road and they come up with some good points and ideas in the conversation but as soon as they part ways and go to their separate destinations everything said dies.
If you are a business owner reading this or you know of a business that has employees that run their departments as if they own the business the focus needs to be on changing the culture, to get the employee to understand that their future with the company depends on their contribution to help build up the reputation and not tear it down.