Now for a great story – it's great because it shows how easily businesses can lose business and their reputation without even trying. My friend's husband wanted to install a particular sort of heating system in their house. The product he wanted was around $10K all up, he wanted to install the heating as soon as possible and he phoned sixteen companies, explained his needs and asked them for a quote. They all promised they would be back in touch within the week. Two months on, only six companies were back in touch and even then, made contact many weeks after the initial request. Doesn't it make you wonder about: the companies' internal client management systems and how they track initial enquiries, follow up and completion?; whether the staff are trained in customer service?; whether the staff understand the connection between customers, their money and their company's survival and their own job?; why the managers aren't doing what they should be doing? A good business reputation takes time to develop and for customers/clients, one bad experience to damage it. Unhappy potential or actual customers will tell everyone they know about their experience, so the cost of poor systems and service is likely to be bigger than the time and effort put into internal training, systems development, setting standards and monitoring staff.