Business Integrity and why you should care.

By Grant Grimes
Founder/Owner of Double G Home Inspections in Atlanta

Here's a good question: Does business integrity matter in this economy? I think so...perhaps now, more than ever.

Have you ever gone into a restaurant and received just terrible service? Not poor – terrible. Did you tell anyone? Did you even tell the server? If you didn’t, then you have to real right to complain. The person providing the poor service may not realize that they are not satisfying folks. Perhaps, to them, this is good service. The manager may be so busy that he/she is not aware of the person’s behavior. If you were running the restaurant, wouldn’t you want customers to tell you what they think of your product and how they were treated? If your answer is “Yes”, then you have a moral obligation to tell someone who can make a change.

If you worked in or owned a restaurant and someone complained about something that is clearly legitimate, how would you respond? “Yeah. Sorry about that! This is Bill’s first day here and he’s still learning.” How would that make you feel? It’s great that they are giving Bill an opportunity to work, but it is not your responsibility to participate in his training. The restaurant should be handling that in such a way that you are not affected. When this has happened to you and the manager comes to the table and apologizes and then offers something for the aggravation – free dinner, free entree, desert, etc. – don’t you go away from that experience wanting to come back again because it’s obvious they care about you? Repeat business -- That's why business integrity can increase your revenue.

Too many companies today are more concerned with the bottom line and the appearance of the work or product than they are with doing the right thing in their dealings with both customers and, sometimes, employees. They can step over dollars to pick up a nickel in their quest to save a few cents on something. Everything that we do in our daily work lives does not directly result in an immediate and quantifiable payback. Sometimes you need to do something because it’s the right thing to do, even if it might cost you money on that specific transaction. But, if you are honest in your dealings and treat problems as opportunities, you will come out ahead in the long run.

Think about it. I am in the home inspection business. One of my primary rules is that if the customer is not satisfied with the manner in which I did the inspection or they find the written report to be too confusing, I give them the full fee back – period. I know from customer feedback that the inspection process and the report I produce are well above average. If someone says they have a problem, it’s likely not with the report or the inspection, but with some other issue. If I give them their money back, they may not be happy, but they don’t have much reason to talk poorly of me to friends and associates. If I keep the full fee and tell them the problem is not mine, I can guarantee they will be out in the marketplace advertising against me. Business integrity matters.

Everyone in business today has to be more careful than before to ensure that their product or service can be sold at enough of a profit to keep them in business. Prices need to be competitive and fair. Customers should be treated with respect – they are the livelihood of the company. When there are legitimate problems, they should be addressed quickly by doing the right thing – whatever that is in the particular situation. Might that reduce or eliminate whatever profit was supposed to be in the transaction? Yes, and in fact, it might actually cost money. But if it’s the right thing to do, you will get the money back over time – always. Demonstrating to others your business integrity is profitable, very profitable over the long run.

Grant Grimes
Founder/Owner of Double G Home Inspections in Atlanta

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