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Being trustworthy and having integrity are two valuable qualities all service providers and business owners must exercise consistently. Can your customers rely on you to provide them with what they expect? Can they depend on getting what they were told they would get?

I was working in Colombia and and for my last night’s stay I had reserved room #9 at a hotel. This unique hotel offered rooms which all differed, each had its own personality. A week before my scheduled stay I had dropped by the hotel and specifically reserved room #9 because of its layout, spaciousness and more importantly, for its unique large glass windows offering a panoramic view overlooking the mountains.

On the afternoon of my stay, I arrived at the hotel and was told that room #9, the room for which I had a reservation, was unavailable. The hotel clerk explained that someone had booked it the night before, had decided to extend their stay and instead of relocating this guest, the staff changed my reservation. As you can imagine, I wasn’t impressed. I tried to reason with the hotel clerk, indicating that the hotel had this particular room reserved for this particular night, in my name. All explanation was futile.

With little remorse, all they could offer was a completely different room missing many of room #9’s unique attributes. I walked away extremely disappointed and disgusted with the customer service. I was left scrambling to find another suitable accommodation.

The experience reminds me of a very funny Seinfeld episode. In it, the show pokes fun at an industry which is notorious for not fulfilling previous agreements: the car rental industry. Here is the excerpt:

As with many Seinfeld episodes, it’s funny because it depicts the absurdities of daily life.

Have you ever experienced a car reservation as shown in the clip? I have. Many times. So many times in fact, that it has sadly become my expectation. If I get the car or the class of car I reserved, I’m shocked.

Lacking integrity as seen in my personal hotel experience or with rental car companies only lead to disappointed customers and disappointed customers eventually take their business elsewhere.

Integrity… doing what we say we’ll do.
Being true to our word.

Without Integrity, the loss of customers is very likely. Let’s put Integrity at the very center of our business.