I love watching accountability in action.  Just last week I was staying at a great hotel, the Embassy Suites, inPortland,OR.  The next morning I had to leave quickly after my meeting to get to the airport.  Because there wasn’t a taxi stand at the hotel, it could take ten or fifteen minutes to get a taxi, so the doorman suggested I arrange for the taxi to be waiting at a specific time.


When I walked out of the hotel at the arranged time, there wasn’t a taxi waiting.  The doorman called the taxi-cab company to see how long it would be.  He told me it could be ten minutes.  This gentleman knew I was concerned about getting to the airport on time to make my flight.  That’s when he said, “Don’t worry, I’ll take you.  Wait right here.”  Within moments, he drove up and off we went.


First, the hotel was not obligated to take me to the airport.  They typically don’t make “airport runs.”  It wasn’t the doorman’s fault that my cab didn’t show up, but he accepted the responsibility to take care of my problem.


That’s accountability!  Taking ownership of the situation, whether it be good or bad.


I’ve written about this before.  It is like the shipment we sent to a client that never arrived.  We get the call from the client.  Hey, we shipped it.  It’s not our fault.  But, I would never tell that to the client.  I would simply say, we’ll take care of it, and then we find out what happened.  It’s not our fault, but it is our problem – to solve!


Accountability can create customer confidence, and confidence can lead to loyalty.



Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations.  As a professional speaker and author, Shep helps companies develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees.  For more information on Shep’s speaking programs and books, please contact (314) 692-2200. Email: shep@hyken.com  Web: www.hyken.com. For information on customer service training, go to www.TheCustomerFocus.com.

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