Good Article. It reflects the approach I try to take with people. Leave them with their dignity, help them to genuinely trust you.
For example: I worked tier 1 support for a web-hosting company a few years ago and because I did not know what I was doing at the time, I blew away her entire site. I was able to get the admins to restore from a backup (a rather old one mind you) and then I had to make that phone call of shame. Now here is the catch, this company openly encouaraged its employees to lie to customers but I was not going to do this.
So I was straight up and honest and told her what happened. Surprisingly, the result was not what I expected. I thought I was going to get chewed up and spit out, which had happened a few times, and was not my fault on those occassions. But I explained what had happened, helped her get things back up and running and from that point forward I was her go to tech, when she called I was the one she requested and I did my best to take care of her.
Thus I learned a valuable lesson about honesty and taking care of people, which has carried me into the work I am doing today. Coincidentally, this customer lives in the same city where the hosting company is based. So when I left that company for a different one in the same area, she actually sought me out for other technical issues over the years, and I have been able to continue to help as the need arises. Ironically, she still hosts with that and has been trying to get away for years, and was able to give her a few tips on how to get away without losing her site and domain, since this company has been known to hijack a domain name time and again.
So while I am not a consultant I do appreciate the insights that you highlighted in this article as it realates to caring for customers in the best way, even when things are not ideal.
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