Check out this email forwarded to me this morning from the “Queen Bee” at PrinterBees, my small business print marketing company! What a way to start Monday morning, right? Are you as appalled by this email as I am? How would you handle this situation….As the owner of the company receiving it? Or if you learned an employee sent this out with your brand and company name listed at the bottom? This disturbing email was in response to an email blast we sent to our clients regarding custom imprinted Halloween treat bags and we don’t ever spam. I don’t believe in spam, it just makes people mad and that’s not good for any brand. This email shocked me, we’ve never received “hate email” like this in eight years, our clients love us! We have great clients (for the most part). This guy is a past client and we are unaware of him being upset with us. We never heard from him following the delivery of his business cards. We followed up with him via email to see that he was happy with his finished product. Imagine our surprise at this mean spirited email. After pondering how and if I should handle this, I decided I needed to address it. I needed to address it for two reasons.
- I felt like I needed to show the person it was directed at that I won’t tolerate customers being abusive towards the people on my team. We don’t have to do business with people who don’t treat the team with a reasonable amount of respect. You know…common courtesy in business. I’m not sure why people think it’s okay to be so abusive towards other people and why we would accept it. I don’t want to work with people like that. No thank you!
When people show you who they are, believe them. ~Maya Angelo
- I also felt like as a small business owner, I would want to know if someone who represented my brand was sending out emails like this one which could end up as part of a blog post, like this one! Ironic, isn’t it! My guess was that the broker for this real estate agent had no way of knowing someone on his team was sending out offensive emails…with his branding attached. It just felt like the right thing to do. If he is treating us that way, how is he treating others he does business with, like title companies, other agents, mortgage brokers, etc. How is his irate behavior impacting the broker’s ability to maintain his business and his reputation?
I did contact the broker and he was absolutely pleasant, kind, thankful for the call and completely FLOORED! He was also so apologetic, which was appreciated, but not necessary as an apology was never a thought. I came from a space of one small business owner looking out for another and he graciously accepted it that way. Whew…I admit being a little nervous of what I might get on the other end of the phone, you know…more of the same. I wasn’t surprised to hear the agent had already been relieved of his position. Is it wrong that I felt a small sense of relief that he was no longer employed there? I can only imagine the kind of havoc a team member who can write emails like the one above could cause in an office. Can you imagine? I was hoping he was possibly just having a bad day…guess not. So, what would you have done? I’m curious to know what you would do if you found yourself in this situation. Please sound off! Inquiring minds want to know. It also makes me ponder how to handle email practices in my own business. How can a business owner monitor such things while respecting an employee’s right to privacy. I wouldn’t want someone reading my email. What are your thoughts? Be blessed! I hope you’re having a great day.