Got Ethics? Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling evidently didn´t. They have been found guilty on numerous counts of conspiracy and fraud. Enron, once the seventh largest company in the US is a pale shadow of its former self.
What´s the lesson reaffirmed here for those of us interested in enhancing the customer service experience? Ethics matters!
Ethics not only matters, they are the foundation upon which customer service experiences are built. Readers of this blog know that I advocate making the customer service experience relational rather than transactional (thank you, Chuck @ Advertising Made Simple). Doesn´t matter if you only interact with customers for a matter of seconds at a fast food counter, or for months as part of a major accounts team. Relationships are mission-critical to the customer service experience.
Relationships are based on trust. Trusting someone is based on the belief that they will act as you expect them to act. In a sales situation, the customer wants the seller to be honest with him or her.
Your business may spell out how you and your employees deal with customers and each other. Each of these policies, procedures, and principles should be based on ethical behavior.
Walk The Talk, a company I used to build our ethics program teaches the following to determine if a particular behavior is ethical:
Is this lawful?
Is this fair to all involved?
Is this something I would want my mother or my children to know I was doing?
Would I want others to do this to me?
Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling misplaced their priorities. They were more concerned about doctoring the balance sheets than they were in engaging in ethical behavior. It caught up with them. Don´t let unethical behavior come between your customers and you.
If you´re interested in a summary of blog posts about Enron visit Techblog, from the Houston Chronicle.
When a cancer patient is told he or she has cancer, shock sets in. Patients and family members often don´t know what questions to ask of their doctors. The American Cancer Society´s Web site and toll free call center (in the US) has a list of questions that patients can ask. Please spread the word.