When I hear someone say “it’s a business decision”, money is usually the first thing that comes to mind. The choice that was made was based on overall cost to the company or individual. While it’s wise to consider cost, spending and/or investments, it’s not the end-all, be-all of choices within business.
There are other factors you need to consider, such as how the choice-in-question will affect your employees or customers. Depending on the outcome of those choices, they may even change public perception of you or your business. It could be that saving on immediate cost can hurt your income in the long run.
Take, for example, a news report out of Melbourne, Florida, regarding a man whose vehicle was wrecked by an employee of an auto repair shop. This wasn’t an accident that happened during a test drive of the vehicle. Instead, this happened during a joyride by one of the auto shop’s employees who crashed the vehicle not once, but twice on the very same morning. In the eyes of the law, the employee didn’t do anything illegal. After all, repair shops tend to take vehicles for test rides all the time to make sure they did the repairs correctly.
While there is nothing criminal that took place in the eyes of the law, you would think the auto shop would take responsibility for the actions of the employee, right? According to the news report, the auto shop refuses to state it did anything wrong or reimburse the owner for the loss of their vehicle.
Obviously, paying for the loss of the owner’s vehicle is a direct cost to the auto shop. They could choose to pay for it directly, or have their insurance cover the loss, in which case, they will likely face increased insurance premiums. No one wants to deal with costs that weren’t planned for, but in this case, what is going to be the long-term cost to the auto shop by not paying the immediate expense now?
I know that if I needed to take my vehicle in for repairs, I wouldn’t want to take it to this particular auto shop simply due to this story. While it’s highly unlikely they will have another situation like this come up, why would I risk it when the vehicle owner in this story allegedly has to go through this hassle? The choice being made by the auto shop now is sending a message to potential customers that they may not put their customers first when making decisions.
Immediate cost cannot always be the deciding factor. If it is, it could cost you in the long run.
Filed under: Accountability, Business, Challenges, Customer Service, Decision Making, Media, Profits, Trends