Yesterday, I had harsh words for Dell’s service organization. They had made a decision that was designed to improve the odds of minimizing their expense — at my expense. I had a computer go bad and we (Dell tech support and I) determined what I had already suspected, I have a bad motherboard (the main control board in the computer). No problem there. I patiently allowed Dell to run through their diagnostic process. I understand that they don’t know how reliable my diagnosis is.
So, they tell me a technician will be at my house within the next 1-2 days per their service agreement. All is well. One day goes by. I get a call saying the technician will be coming to my home tomorrow and I can expect a call to schedule a specific time. Two PM rolls around and still no call. I decide to call them. I learn that “them” is Unasys, the company that is being subcontracted to provide onsite services for Dell in my area. They inform me that Dell has cancelled the service call. They don’t know why and suggest I call Dell. Things are starting to go badly.
I call Dell and a nice gentleman from India answers the phone. I demand to know why the service call was cancelled. He is very apologetic and says he will get it rescheduled right away. Again, I demand to know WHY it was cancelled. He puts me on hold for two minutes. When he returns, he tells me that “one of the parts” that are needed is backordered.
“One of the parts?” I only need one part. He informs me that there is a connecting cable that could also be the source of the problem. While I have not done any scientific study, I have been building and repairing PCs most of my adult life and I know that the odds of it being a bad cable are…small. Why make ME wait? Why not send the tech out with the part he/she has? Easy. Because if it is the cable, they will need to come out again and Dell will need to pay for a second call. Is it my fault that they didn’t have a cable in stock?
I was not prepared to let it go. So, after another two minute hold, I was told that they had found an “alternate part” that is in stock. ”Not good enough, I say!” I want them to bring out the motherboard TODAY like their service agreement says. They can’t. When the service order was cancelled, the motherboard was immediately sent back to Dell. Talk about a process failure…
But I digress. I rode that poor technician in India really hard. A lot of people I know would have gotten defensive, but he stuck to his training no matter how intense it got. Not surprisingly, Americans I have dealt with have not held up as well under similar situations. One such incident would explain why I don’t have DirecTV anymore, even though it is my only content service option besides the Internet.
What is the difference between these two people? The answer is emotional intelligence (EQ). The DirecTV representative allowed her ego to interfere with the performance of her work and the Dell representative didn’t. The Dell rep turned a bad experience into a bad experience and the DirecTV rep turned a bad experience into a nightmare. We are all told to hire smart people because they will make our organization great. Be careful! IQ is not the only measure of intelligence. People with a high IQ do not necessarily have a high EQ. Unfortunately, a low EQ is far more disruptive than a low IQ. In my limited experience, people with a high IQ and low EQ are the most dangerous people around.
This might explain why Google was known at one point for averaging 26 interviews before hiring someone. If they failed one interview, they were out. People can only hide a low EQ so long. Once it has been exposed, there’s no point in seeing how long they can hide it again. Do you have people in your organization with low EQ? If you do, you know who they are. They’re the people you or someone else is regularly “cleaning up” behind. If you want to keep them, they will need to seek professional psychological treatment. Changing your EQ is almost as hard as changing your IQ. If you would like to learn more, try reading this book, written by the man most likely to have the highest EQ on the planet.