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November 15, 2006


Debra Helwig

Great post, Barbara.

Internal problems, whether brought on through negligence or act of God, should never be the customer's problem. All that customer will remember is the bad experience she had -- and she'll tell 20 friends about that bad experience as soon as she possibly can! Even in your example, if you'd mentioned the name of the airline, that story would ring in my ears the next time I was booking a flight...and I'd probably think twice about flying with them.

My husband is a professional musician and artist. His favorite thing to say is, "It's not important that you be asked to do a job. It's important that you be asked to do it AGAIN." He tells the story of great operatic soprano Kathleen Battle, who was banned from the Metropolitan Opera, not because her voice was fading, but because she was a prima donna who engaged in "unprofessional actions...profoundly detrimental to artistic collaboration".

The best marketing and networking in the world can't overcome sour grapes passed through in the transaction process. Great stuff to remember as we skate downhill into the holidays and then, for those of us in the accounting industry, into busy season.

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