Quite high on my New Year’s resolutions, I reached out to a colleague in industry who runs a fantastic programme for business owners that focuses on business excellence and leadership differentiation, with a view to having participants transform their enterprises from SMEs to global corporations.

Needless to say I had been procrastinating quite some on this matter and had finally made up my mind to join the first intake this year. Sure enough after a day or two, one of his business development managers got in touch and we had a very good discussion. He promised to dispatch off the information on the course timetable and payment schedules to my email right away for I needed to block out the classroom and coaching sessions in advance.

Let’s just say that one week down the line, this polished, well spoken, assertive business development manager – let’s call him Enrique hadn’t lived up to his promise. For a serial procrastinator who has finally decided to latch onto Nike’s “Just Do IT!” and requires all the support to “Just Get It Done!” by registering and diarizing for the programme, this kind of Malaysian activity wasn’t helping the situation. So I got in touch with my colleague (his boss) and shared my woes.

Needless to say that in the next fifteen minutes, the required information was in my inbox, notwithstanding that it was a Sunday evening. The good Enrique had sent detailed information on programme launch, programme costs, programme dates and programme breakdown. Excellent information that exceeded my expectations. And that it was sent just minutes after I had registered my complaint was quite the boon.

However……………….I felt quite quite dissatisfied.

I wondered if I needed to ‘pick’ up the matter or let it drop, but the nag of a teacher who lives in me couldn’t let it pass and so this is how the conversation went –

After me thanking Enrique for sending the information and promising to look through it in detail I concluded the email by saying:

On a final note – the customer service strategist in me thinks your opening line could have been as follows.
“Hello Carolyne – kindly receive my sincere apologies for the delay in getting this information to you after indicating I would send it after we spoke…………”

Do you suppose this would have made me, your prospective customer feel appreciated and not like its ‘kawaida’ for you to say you’ll send something right away and then you break the promise?

He then responded and said –

Dear Carolyne,

Apologies for this.
Thank you for the feedback. It shall help in future improvement.

Kind regards,

And right there our reconnection was established. He’d uttered the magic words. Albeit being said after the nudging, I still felt validated. We’ve had very pleasant conversations since then and I’m scheduled for take-off in February.

Let’s just reconfirm here and now that the magic words that we were taught in our child hood – please, thank you, may I, I’m sorry are still valid. They work like magic and work magic. No matter the circumstance, no matter the situation, no matter the incident, if there’s need to utter them, please do. You will never go wrong.