People are always asking me
where I get my material for my writing. I tell them that I just live life. Take
today, for example. I woke up this morning to find that I was unable to receive
or send email. That’s certainly something that happens from time to time. You
exit out of Mail, reboot, have a big bowl of salad and by the time you are done,
your mail is streaming in. Except for today.
I happened to notice that I was
able to receive and send mail on some accounts, but not on my business account,
which led me to believe the problem might be more specific than I originally
anticipated. I wasted half my morning and then some of my
afternoon trying to trouble shoot this problem on my own.
Finally, I decided to call
the consultant who set up this account. He checked a few things and quickly came to the conclusion that Everyone.net had turned off my account
for lack of payment. He concluded that my credit card must have expired, as the
same thing happened to him earlier this year. It would have been nice
to have been notified of this prior to this event, but apparently Everyone.net
was having trouble with their auto-senders. And of course if they attempted to
send me one last email, I would not have received it as they had turned off my
It’s seems like they worked
pretty hard to turn me off when they simply could have made a phone call to
alert me of the problem. I’m betting many of you own or work for organizations
that fail to presume good intent. A payment is missed and boom–that client is
thrown into the risk category. Retention of customers is
hard enough in this economy. Why make it more difficult?
Take a closer look at your
processes. Are you assuming people are damaged or do you assume there may have
been a breakdown in your process? If it’s the latter, then you are in good
shape. If it’s not, then it’s time to stop turning off paying customers who
have the power to turn on their business elsewhere.
Roberta Chinsky Matuson is the President of Human Resource Solutions and author of the forthcoming book, Suddenly in
Charge! Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around (Nicholas Brealey, January 2011). Visit Roberta’s Blog on the Generations at
Work or her Linked-in Group Suddenly in