left Xtraordinary Living At Its Best: I owe you an apology plus the cost of shortcuts.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

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I owe you an apology plus the cost of shortcuts.

This morning the phone rang at 5 AM and when my wife answered I assumed it was my sister in-law. She lives in Europe and after 15 years, I'm kind of used to her calling at "off hours." Unfortunately the call wasn't from her. It was the daily "QuoteActions" call. Needless to say, this was not good news. The thought that 500 of my clients were receiving a call at 5 AM instead of the regular 8 AM time was very disconcerting.

As I ran to my home office and logged into the server to try to stop the calls from continuing, it was too late. 90% of them had already been delivered, meaning that I was facing the prospect of having nearly 450 people rather upset with me.

While I'm trying to figure out how to minimize the damage, I decided to call my marketing consultant. Even though it was only 5:15 AM I felt rather certain that she would probably be up since I know she has a Wednesday BNI meeting that starts at 6:45am. I was right about her being up. Unfortunately, her husband doesn't share her same schedule and he wasn't up. Strike two!

I finally talked to Sue a bit later and we figured out that the best way to deal with this was to offer an apology with tomorrow's "QuoteAction" and also here on the blog. I've talked or corresponded via email with many clients today and all of them were very understanding. Thank you for that.

If you are a "QuoteActions" subscriber and I didn't personally connect with you today please accept my apologies for calling at such an early time and any disturbance this may have caused you or your family.

But this post is not only about offering an apology, but to also address the topic of "shortcuts." The reason the calls went out at 5 AM is because I took a shortcut. The system that delivers the calls has a feature designed to prevent this sort of mistake - where the calls get delivered according to the wrong time zone. However this feature adds one more step to the call creation. This has not been an issue because up until now, the volume of calls I need to set up has been relatively small.

However last month's launch of the "QuoteActions" Private Sponsorship Program has created a new challenge for me. It has been more popular than I initially expected it and the volume of calls I need to set up has substantially increased. I'm in the process of hiring someone to help me do this but in the meantime, I still need to take care of this increased volume.

So last night I temporarily disabled the "time zone insurance" feature figuring that saving the extra step would be significant given the volume of calls I needed to set up. My plan was to re-enable the feature when I was finished. I had successfully done this in the past, so I felt pretty confident it would work. Only problem was that yesterday I forgot to re-set it.

So I have a feeling that this will be one of those lessons that I won't forget anytime soon about wanting to take a shortcut!

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Lilly said...

Being your first Private Sponsor, I too received several calls from folks wanting to let me know - mostly kid me - about the 5AM call. While somewhat alarming to receive a call at that time, it was a very small inconvenience. Taken in context with our lives - not something to get upset about. I viewed it as another chance to show compassion and appreciation for the fact that another human being (you, Rick) is trying to provide me with something new and doing the best job possible. You can't learn to walk without a stumble or two.

When I first received the call, I laughed at the time. I suspected it was actually designed to provide "reactions" to give us all something to look at in ourselves. When the listener realized it wasn't an emergency call, what was the reaction? Was it anger? Was it amusement? Was it a perfect excuse to cancel these daily awareness calls? Or was it understanding that apparently something glitched somewhere along the line? Whatever the reaction was, I think we all have something to learn from it personally in examining how we might over-react or under-react to other unexpected circumstances in our lives... I LOVE these daily reminders - no matter what time they come! :-) Thanks for all your hard work on them, Rick! Lilly Emerson

Anonymous said...

hi Rick
I keep forgetting to write you to thank you. I'm a few days behind in quote actions but did listen to Thursday. I heard your apology and
had to laugh. on Wednesdays my alarm goes off at 4:30 am. this week I fell back to sleep and would have missed BNI if my phone had not rang at 5 am. So due to your mistake, I did not miss BNI.Thanks!