Sunday, January 30, 2011

Small lies

Usually it is taken for granted that the base element of every strong relationship, personal or professional, is trust. Building it may take very long time, patience and consistence in behavior.  At the same time trust is a very subtle substance which is easy to destroy.
However sometimes companies do not fear cheating their clients. This is a pretty high risk, especially in conditions of strong competition. Maybe firms are looking for some fast and easy income or maybe hope their non ethics will be unnoticed.
Cheating the client results in some profit today, but much bigger damages in close future. A dishonest company will loose not only the client who suffered directly but also all those who will hear about the company’s attempt to lie.
As an example served a simple situation which my friend shared. It was about the fake promotion in one of the Warsaw pharmacies...
“The story happened some time ago when grandparents' day was celebrated in Poland. I have decided to give my grandparents something, which would help them to remain in a good health - NUTRICIONAL SUPPLEMENT. That choice came up to my mind because of the pushy publicity - but this is the topic for the another article.....When I made up my mind to buy that product, nothing more left like go to Pharmacy and just purchase it.
When I entered that Pharmacy I saw full shelves of varied supplements for the seniors. All of them could be bought with a noticeable discount – around 30 percent. Crossed, bolded red numbers caught my attention – especially one – 45* zloty crossed and replaced by a new price at the level of 34 zloty.
This discount let me feel that I would do a very good business buying that supplement– 11 zloty of discount encouraged me to take this product off the shelf. Being truly delighted of the choice I went to the cash-desk to pay. You cannot imagine my surprise when the shop assistant requested for 38 zloty. I said to her straight away: “I think that the product has been discounted and I should pay 34 zloty instead of 38. Am I right? “ The answer for my question, which I heart was even more surprising “Yes, you are absolutely right, I am sorry – 38 is the price before promotion”.....Actually according to that big red letters mentioned before I fought that 45 was an initial price!!!!
The shop assistant realized what she said and started explaining that unacceptable and embarrassing situation for her and the whole company, but all explanations which she gave were just pointless. “No aclares porque oscurece!” – This is a piece of advice from Argentina, which means that you are getting to be in worse and worse position when you start explaining something what you have done wrong. Any word couldn’t help her and save a good image of that Pharmacy in that extremely uncomfortable situation......”
Kasia shared her experience when she came to the office: so automatically 5 people heard it. And I suppose that she told it to some other people as well. So we have one cheated customer and at least five friends who know which pharmacy provides such great sales. (The difference between sales and promotions is described very nice by Drew Schiller http://www.drewschiller.com/blog/the-fake-sale/)
Unfortunately the actions of one company are very often related to the whole business. After hearing the story personally I will harder believe the fairness of the sales organized by any pharmacy …
It is a pity that actions of one entity affect the image of the whole industry.  It may be seen as a risk or as an additional incentive for competitors to focus on honest activity. Sometimes it is amazing how easily companies offer opportunities to competitors to win their clients.