Where has the service gone?
To the Editor:
I am in the business of helping businesses grow through offering better products and superior service.
Many times while consulting with a business owner I have been extremely confused by their belief that it’s too expensive to offer a higher quality products and spend specific energies to ensure that their teams are trained to offer a superior experience to their customers.
Many times after long discussions I could convince the business owner to try small steps to ramp up their product offerings and service levels, but all too often I find them pulling things back and second guessing time tested practices. One of these practices is to strive to ramp up service levels when the economy is down.
It may seem counterintuitive to use more energy and spend a bit more on customers satisfaction when money is tight, but time after time those businesses do see strong gains in customer loyalty which results in repeat business and stronger referrals. As our economy has continued its downturn I have noticed a disheartening trend in the service industry. Shops like Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s, Big Apple, and Subway and so on have increasingly provided a terrible customer experience.
We have all experienced it at the drive-thru, you order your coffee or food the way you always like it and sure enough when you receive your order, it’s totally wrong. Not only is it wrong or sadly inconsistent the attitudes of the staff that are your businesses first impression are downright lack luster. Of course these places aren’t the only ones not getting it right, it’s happening all over.
It’s hard enough to set your business apart from the clamor for Americans dollars from the competitors when the economy is good, it’s a downright miss-step by business owners to lose sight of that all-important superior customer experience when the economy is down. Let me offer a thought to those business owners that are trying to get ahead, and it’s much simpler than you may think.
Here it is... Share your Vision for how you as the business owner expect customers to feel when they have been to your business or experienced your service. Share your Vision and then hold your staff accountable to that Vision. Recognize their hard work and participate in making that Vision a reality.
A superior experience will very often be the differentiator between your business and your competitor. It’s time to remind Americans why "Made in America" isn’t just about things, but about a Superior customer experience.