Last week, a hot, tired delivery man came into our office with some much-needed supplies. He delivered more than just packages. He delivered angry, ugly opinions about someone else’s brand.
Let me set the stage: we believe in hospitality–it’s part and parcel of our brand—so we set out candy for the people who stop in. We also make it a point to offer delivery people a bottle of cold water or a soft drink to take as they go on their way to their next stop.
So when we asked this man if he’d like a drink, he gratefully accepted. Then he took a moment to spew angry words about another business in the area. Why? Because they're rude to him every time he walks in their door. No one in the office bothers to say hello or thank him for his delivery—let alone offer him a cold drink on a hot day.
Remember the story of Beauty and the Beast?
The handsome prince is rude to an enchantress disguised as a beggar women. He thinks she's unimportant—a nuisance. She is merely someone beneath him and unworthy of his attention. So he has no compassion for her small request for help. He’s rude and dismissive. And in turn, she dooms him to become a repulsive beast. She had much more power than he’d imagined, and it requires many years and a miracle for him to find redemption.
All of this has me wondering several things:
- How many other people not perceived as “important” are rudely treated at this business?
- How many times will this driver tell others how badly he's treated by Company X?
- How many other companies make this same mistake?
- And how many of them will suffer a fate like the beast’s?
Don’t let this be an ugly lesson to you. Everyone who comes into contact with your brand is important. Delivery people, job applicants, employees and suppliers have incredible opportunity to be your ambassadors. Be sure it’s part of your culture to treat everyone like they matter. They do.
If you need an internal culture that treats eveyone like a handsome prince (or princess), call Martha Bartlett Piland direct at 785.969.6203.