The Convenience of Courtesy

…or is it the ‘courtesy of convenience? With so many pieces moving and the playing field that is entrepreneurship facing some of the most disruptive innovations in the millenia; it seems only natural that some would lean on the fundamentals that drive commerce.

A great identifier of good business ethics and a resonance with your audience is the convenience offered or gained from engaging with your brand. As a measurement and Key Performance Indicator (KPI), your ‘convenience score’ is core to the niche you occupy; so it would make sense to keep a keen interest and close eye on how well your service, product or idea simplifies or just makes things easier for your customers.

Efficiency is a key metric in almost all organisations, especially in the service industry. It is how we sometimes confirm the quality of a service or the effectiveness of the product.

I considered this after an experience one morning having used a prominent, disruptive & popular taxi hailing service to get to an appointment. It was not necessarily that I was dissatisfied with the service or that it left me less than impressed with their efficiency but more than the driver; in this case the key service provider seemed quite irritated that I had asked to stop at a local garage and use their ATM.
On getting back to the vehicle after having to stand in line to use the machine, he was not shy to let me know that I was ‘hurting his business’!?

I was probably really focused on my destination at the time so I promptly apologized for the delay and decided that it wasn’t something that needed to be escalated. We continued on the trip, I arrived on time and the transaction was paid for as expected.

It is only after my apointment that I had some time to think about the interaction; I also had received a notice on the hailing app asking how many stars out of 5 I felt the trip was worth, (which I also considered was an opportunity to pass judgement on the conduct of the driver) and this is where the thought came to me;

“Is it fair for me to judge the driver negatively for the remarks made on how my ‘un-planned’ stop was not part of the trip? Is the courtesy expected on my end as a customer to respect his work and not that he is offering a service that should have him expect that trips might have added stops or ‘God forbid’ unplanned ones?!”

But this is what the measurement of convenience is, isn’t it? It is knowing that while you provide an efficient service it is the unexpected turns & bumps that determine how well you ‘go beyond the call of duty’ and deliver the goods!

Perhaps I had too much time waiting for my next trip back to my own workstation; maybe it was a moment of courtesy I realised in being able to take the higher ground and rate them highly? (I gave him a 4 star rating!).

In the process of building the ecosystem of what we want to experience in the many services, products and innovations that are an intricate part of our lives; we also have the responsibility of just being patient with each other.

So we should be courteous, afterall it is both convenient for everyone and a good measurement of character.

But just as I found myself in a moral quagmire on my perceived wrongdoing; I’m also aware of the inherent entitlement we tend to all assume on each other. Yes there is a measure of expectancy that accompanies a fair exchange; and this should not need be elaborated on at each transaction. But it is the courtesy on both ends that leads if you ask me. I could have easily also taken the time to ask if it was okay to stop by an ATM and find out if he preferred me to add an extra stop…I guess it was just not convenient at the time!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.