Organizations – whether social, cultural, religious or governmental – and their representatives or liaisons; despite their virtual presence they all too often are very hard to reach. Significant amounts of time and resources are spent on advertising services, products, expertise, etc., via websites, blogs, and social media platforms. However, when it comes to customer service and public relations, the targeted customers or clients often find their questions being ignored or even avoided altogether.
Instead of blaming the aforementioned phenomenon on the entire system or things like bureaucracy and the like, we should always first look within and examine our motivation and intentions in regard to social interaction and communication. For instance, an angry letter – regardless of whether one has been wronged or not – will much less likely achieve the desired results than when one uses non-offensive words to convey the message. Therefore, we need to have patience, tolerance, and compassion towards the people we communicate with. Indeed, skillful speech is much more likely to yield beneficial results, and often a lot faster, too.
But what if, in spite of our sincere efforts and good intentions, people still don’t care or remain disinterested in what we have to say to them? Well, of course, we need to check whether what we’re asking for is realistically viable and also relevant to what the person, company or organization stands for. If indeed we didn’t act out of wrong motivation (e.g., hatred, contempt, greed), then what’s causing our message to remain unnoticed, or if it did get noticed, why don’t we get a timely response, if any at all?
There are several possibilities to consider, such as a lack of time; inappropriate time (e.g. holidays, weekends, after the regular operating or office hours, different time zones); a pending backlog needed to be cleared first; unauthorized to act or speak on behalf of the people who are in charge; someone else’s responsibility; etc. Yet at the same time we need to have realistic expectations. Therefore, we can’t expect our message to be replied instantly – some companies promise to reply within a certain period of time (e.g., 24, 48, 72 hours; or 5, 7, 10 working days).
For instance, big companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook can be reached in several ways. Moreover, they have plenty of employees, so you can be sure to receive a reply within a reasonable period of time. Whether the reply is satisfactory or not is subjective, so here I leave aside an evaluation thereof.
But even without a large number of competent employees, small businesses and independent merchants are also very much aware of the importance and value not only of cost-effective production and marketing, but ultimately also of adequate customer support as well as technical support.
However, in many cases, it’s not so much a matter of lacking resources but rather there’s negligence and/or laziness at play. Deliberately postponing tasks due to aversion, evading confrontation, not gaining any profit – these factors mainly come from a lack of motivation, ambition and passion. Thus, without integrity and sincerity people constantly keep getting distracted by trivial matters wherever they go.
Yes, it can be overwhelming and tiring to receive hundreds of emails, text messages, or phone calls every day, but we must never underestimate the potential value of the help or assistance we provide to others, especially because outside of our job we find ourselves quite often being the customer or client who asks similar questions to the ones we normally receive from others when we’re at work.
Unknowingly we become accustomed to unwholesome tendencies due to our failure to cultivate joyous perseverance. The person asking us a seemingly simple question might have come a long way just to be able to reach us, and formulated the question in a foreign language which s/he doesn’t even speak yet still tries to convey the message to the best of his or her ability. Even if we really don’t have time right now, can’t we just spare a moment to tell them we’ll get back to them as soon as possible? No matter how busy we are, isn’t that the least we could do? In this case, even an automated reply would do.
Similarly, one might miss great opportunities when repeatedly being late. Potential investors and donators might reconsider their initial offer once they realize that negligence prevails, thereby affirming the company or organization’s structural incompetence.
So, remind yourself to strive diligently; always take pleasure in being of service to others. And do not procrastinate things while you have time!