In last week’s blog I wrote about a hotel chain which has imposed a fee for anyone cancelling their reservation in a portion of their properties. I received several inquiries wanting me to reveal the name of the chain, but I never discuss anyone by name whether they are a company or a person. The story in The Inc.Life, by Chris Matyszczyk, does reveal the name of the chain.
Several of the inquiries that I received did refer to the hotel chain by name, and some were equally shocked as I was that a major hotel group would be so petty in their customer relations. The fact that a large business does something that is petty does not make the practice right. How many fees are enough, and how much does any business need to charge to support their expenses? Maybe it is time they took a long look at their expenses and costs and understand that enough is enough.
This philosophy of high prices or additional fees may seem justifiable, but it is not. Don’t brag about low prices when add-on fees push the final cost out of reach. We cannot proclaim how loyal our businesses are to customers when the cost of being a customer is raised by petty fees. Petty fees must stop; it is deceptive advertising and will drive customers away.
Petty practices can also be seen in employee relationships. When a business is petty in dealing with its employees, they cannot retain their employees and will have a constant high turnover in staff. We should hire the best employees that we can find, give them the best training, and equip them with the tools to do their jobs. We should also give them the responsibility and authority to do their jobs to the best level possible. Then get out of their way, clearing any obstacles in their path to success.
If our employees rise in ability and surpass their positions with us, we should celebrate that success with them and help them move on. (When I opened my recruiting business, my first client was a former employee who I helped obtain a better position with another company when she worked with me.) Karma can be a powerful principle in our business success or failure and can result from our practices with everyone.
There may be no stronger influence on the success or failure of any business than that exerted by a former unhappy employee. Someone who was wronged by their employer may be able to damage the reputation of their former employer beyond redemption. Social media is a powerful stage and is open to anyone, at any time. In addition, a former employer may have secrets that the world should never know. These may include proprietary information, great business practices, or illegal secrets.
The principles of Gratitude Marketing include our practices when dealing with the public as well as our customers, clients, prospects, family, and friends. They also should be applied to our employees, both present and past. When we treat anyone as less than a human being we are petty and just wrong. We should always do what is right in our dealings with everyone.