13 September 2016
What does a promise mean to you?
I was at a wedding at the weekend and the priest described a promise beautifully. When you are married, that’s the ultimate promise, isn’t it? To commit to someone for the rest of your life – to have and to hold.
So what does a promise in business mean?
I think it is very much the same. It’s a commitment. We make a commitment to provide the best service we can and I believe that that’s the difference between us and other businesses – that promise. Even when it is more costly, when it is harder to deliver, we have always met the promise and kept it.
Keeping your promises gives you integrity, it builds trust and relationships. Breaking a promise, of course, does the opposite.
Invariably, there are times when promises are hard to keep – I remember several years ago that we were made promises by a data centre supplier. We were too small then to have our own facilities so we outsourced, like many providers do. Unfortunately, the provider we used couldn’t keep their promises to us. This meant we couldn’t keep our promise to our clients.
That broken promise was the catalyst for the build of our own MaNOC data centres, the first of which opened back in 2011. It was also that provider’s biggest single customer loss ever.
The experience further cemented my focus on keeping our promises to clients.
The key, I think, is ensuring that you can deliver – don’t overpromise! Whilst it is a fantastic practice to aim for the stars, promises should be more realistic. An honest commitment to what you will deliver for your clients – not what you would like to deliver in an ideal world.
What do you think?