Pop Quiz: Readers of this blog will remember a series I did in 2007 about several qualities that all successful people, businesses, or enterprises possess. Can you name each quality? Or do you at least know how many QUALITIES OF SUCCESS there are?
Some of you have probably named a few, or even a lot of QoS, and you should be proud of yourself for being able to do so. If you need a refresher, check out the list HERE.
Do you know who really exemplifies the Qualities of Success as a whole and most of them individually? If you took the time to read the title, you probably have a good idea that I’m talking about HTC.
Earlier this year, I finally joined the current decade and bought a Smartphone. I chose the HTC INSPIRE, based on research and, price. At the time, some of my friends mocked me because I didn’t get the iPhone. “Why get that, when iPhone does everything you need and is everywhere?” I still haven’t had occasion to regret my decision. In fact, I quickly became a convert to ANDROID in general, and my HTC specifically. There was just one teeny tiny problem.
HTC offers a service HTCsense.com which does a few interesting things. These things, like locating your phone, locking your phone, or even forwarding calls, are cool, but can be replicated using other technology. But they are cool, and they came with the phone. Since the beginning of my having my new phone, I couldn’t use this function. I would try, but it just never happened. In fairness, this function is still in beta, so I went to a HTC forum and asked how long it would be in beta. I never thought I’d get a response.
Surprisingly, I did. A staff member contacted me within 24 hours, showing impressive INITIATIVE and asked me a few clarifying questions. At the end of this conversation, they said that they couldn’t fix the problem, but they were going to bump my case up the ladder. Within another 24 hours, I was contacted by someone higher up who tried a few more things. Unfortunately, nothing worked, but I was assured that they weren’t giving up on me. I was again contacted by someone even higher up who guaranteed that they were going to get this problem fixed. Let me say that again:
They guaranteed that they were going to get this problem fixed!
This person showed true DEDICATION by making a guarantee, knowing that if they screwed up, they were taking a real risk that they would lose a customer. What’s more, whenever any customer leaves a company pissed off, they rarely do so quietly. I know I wouldn’t. I’d tell my wife, my family, all my Face Book friends, people I work with, my cat, the opossums that live in our yard, people I meet at the gym, and most importantly, my readers! (Don’t believe me? Check out the last time a company tried to screw me HERE—and I kind of liked them!) So when HTC Support guaranteed that they’d fix the problem, I was intrigued. Sadly, that representative wasn’t able to fix the problem right then, but told me that he was going to do some research in the code (I understand that he was talking about something dealing with computers, but beyond that I had no clue). He told me he would be calling me back within a week, and gave me his name and department, showing that he was holding himself ACCOUNTABLE. Even though I was skeptical, I agreed to give him the time he asked for.
Before the agreed upon week was up, I got a system-generated email from HTC saying they were sorry they were unable to solve my problem. I figured that would be the end of it, and I resigned myself to the idea that I just wasn’t going to be able to use one part of the service I was sold. It wasn’t the end of the world, but it was disappointing. When I got a call-back from the original rep, I thanked him for calling me back but told him I was done. He said something to me that immediately gave me a change of heart:
“Mr. Stanton, I understand how you feel. But I told you last week that I’d get this fixed, and I need you to stay with me to do that.”
For those keeping score, that would be the exact definition of RESPONSIBILITY. Given that I write about, and truly believe in the QUALITIES OF SUCCESS, how could I abandon someone who was trying to meet the very high bar that I set? So, even though I was getting past the point of caring, I stuck with my people.
Over the next few weeks, between this representative, and another presumably from another department, I was contacted dozens of times by representatives of HTC. Let’s put this into perspective. They had multiple representatives working with me on a portion of a product that was free to me. They were making no money off me in this transaction, and there was still the very real threat that I would leave and potentially cost them money in bad word-of-mouth. Their PERSEVERANCE
was really impressive. In fact, by the end of everything, exhausted that I was, I was able to use the full functionality of HTC, making me a potentially lifelong customer, based on the actions of these great employees.
I wasn’t planning on writing this post; I’m not nearly as good at complimenting others when they deserve it. I have high expectations and too often people aren’t able to meet those expectations. But when they do, when they exceed any hope I have of getting it right, that deserves to be pointed out. Additionally, I see the “Occupy ____” movements around the country and I see many young people who are putting out a lot of energy in what I consider to be the wrong direction. I believe that if the people who are complaining that you can’t become successful in America unless you come from money are wrong. I read somewhere, “All I see are people who were born on third base who believe they hit a triple.” Maybe there is some truth to that, but as the late Steve Jobs proved, and as the representatives from HTC further demonstrated doing the right thing almost always leads to success.
The guys and girls at HTC were so good, they never gave up, they truly were the best around, just like my favorite character from one of my favorite movies. Enjoy!