This is a post on the three B’s. Bread, butter, and business. If you plan on having a business or if you work for a business, the story is a story to always keep in mind. Whether you are a major corporation with millions of customers or just a small Mom and Pop business with 10 customers, please keep this story in mind when dealing with your customers. The story was provided to us by a friend who witnessed this exchange, and asked that her name be withheld.
* * * * * * * *
“It was tax season and I was working for a business that provided services to other businesses. A customer came in and delivered much needed paperwork, and met with the Captain of the ship and the interaction was in front of us: The crew.
Captain: “We have been calling and asking for this paperwork for a long time now! Why didn’t you bring this over sooner?”
The Client: Well, I was busy? (The customer was scratching his head at this point, and looked like a kid who was being scolded in school by no less than the principal.)
Captain: “Do not let this happen again! Do you hear me?”
The Client: “Ah…OK?” (Again in the tone of a question.) Imagine a dog walking away from you after being scolded with the tail between the legs, and this was our client walking out of our office! I felt like I was in shock as in my young career, I could not imagine anything like this happening. They do not teach you this type of interaction in school!
When the customer left, one of my crew members stood up from their post and asked the Captain “Do you know who butters your bread?”
The Captain, clearly baffled by such a question, and particularly one from a member of the crew, asked, “What are you really asking here?” Note that her hands were on her hips, with one foot forward that was tapping the ground in front of her.
Me and the rest of the crew members, holding our breath, sat up and took notice. The outspoken crew member said, “The person who butters your bread is the one who you just yelled at here in this office, in front of us, the crew, who earns their bread and butter from you.When you yell at a customer, particularly in front of us, your crew, we wonder where our bread and butter will come from if that customer goes somewhere else. They should go somewhere else with the way that you just spoke to them!”
The Captain flopped in a chair that was luckily behind her, and said, “They owe us this paperwork so that we can do the job we were hired to do!”
“Yes,” said the crew member, “They should bring this to us when we request it so that we can do the job we were hired to do, and even so, gentle reminders are received much better than the vinegar you just poured over their feet! You will be lucky if they ever return!”
I worked for this person for another couple of weeks and actually faked having sprained my neck, including wearing the neck brace, so that I could look for another job. I did get another job, and left her employ. The renegade who spoke up, ended up opening her own office, which flourished for years, and the Captains business: It disappeared because she had forgotten that if not for her customers, she would not have an income!
* * * * * * * *
The old adage of: “You can catch more flies with honey that vinegar” still holds true today. What business today needs to remember today is that they are replaceable. There is freedom of choice as to who people will work with and if you want to keep your customers, keep in mind that they butter your bread! You work for them!This was the rant to business, no matter who you are.
The Rave? Hugs to those in business who know how to treat their customers right and never forget where the money that sustains them comes from!