I’ve been tearing my hair out working to resolve an ongoing problem caused by my (now former) bank for the past several months. If you’ve had to try to find a live, responsive human person hidden somewhere in the phone tree at a bank, insurance agency, cable or other utility, government agency or almost any other big institution lately, you can probably relate – it can be incredibly frustrating. If you work in or with a public institution, know that people are judging you by your responsiveness and yes, that includes the little things like the timing and tone of returned calls and emails. Your lack of responsiveness comes off as arrogance. It’s just one of several attributes that cause people to get more or less angry or trusting of you, but it’s a big one, and yes, it’s that important.