Kindness is good business


- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

People will often remember how you do something rather than what you do. For instance, I just bought a new iPhone and after having used android for years I felt like a monkey trying to open a lock with a banana.

The sales assistant took time to teach this old technological troglodyte how to use it and showed me features that, as an android user, I might find different to what I was used to.

He didn’t have to do that – I had already purchased the phone and there was a line of people waiting to buy. But because he took the time, I look back on the transaction as a demonstration of respect, genuine customer care and an altogether pleasant experience.

As far as the phone goes, as long as I can jab at it and make a call, I’m pretty happy. If I break it I will go back and get a new one from the chap who took a bit of extra time to ensure a happy customer.

Products don’t make relationships, people do. In my own business, IPI Group, and especially in our asset recovery division, we have made kindness and respect our overarching ethos.

In more than 4000 cases, the result of this ethos is an extraordinarily high recovery rate (our clients’ words), very happy clients and surprisingly (for the repossession industry), multiple letters of thanks from debtors for the way they were treated at a difficult time.

In an industry that has a reputation for thuggery and forced compliance we decided to do it differently and it has paid off big time. We have a 100% client retention rate and a long line of companies wanting to work with us. Our marketing spend is lower, our accounts receivables are current and our job satisfaction level is higher. When you have a choice to harm or help, why not help?

It costs nothing for us to put the debtor in touch with a budgeting advisor, explain their rights and recourse options, spend some time hearing their story, offering advice if asked and treating them according to who they are, not what they have done, or in this case, not done.

Sometimes in business we have to toe a hard line, be it with employees, suppliers, clients, debtors or other industry participants. But there are ways to do things that can improve even the toughest of situations or conversations. No situation has ever been made better by omitting respect and kindness.

I don’t care how amazing someone is at what they do, if they aren’t pleasant to deal with, people will not recommend them to the people that matter to them.

This is especially important in a slower economy or in a frustrated industry as people will go out of their way to support people who go out of ‘their’ way to support people – it’s a cycle of kindness and that can only ever be a good thing.

Just a thought.

Nick Kerr
Nick Kerr
Nick Kerr is the director of IPI Group Limited. He can be reached on 021 876 527 and nick@nzipi.com.

Related Articles