Service, follow-thru…

More than ever I have begun to wonder if the terms “service,” “follow-thru” are last century terms.  The more technical options we have for communicating, following up with others, it seems the less often these acts occur.  Since 1980s, when Tom Peters wrote about the importance of customer service for successful businesses, the less often “good service” is experienced let alone “excellent service.”

What happened?  why did this occur? I certainly have not done the qualified research; however, as both a business owner and consumer, I have these observations:

1- Technology makes an easy excuse…didn’t get your message, must have been my computer…
2- The proliferation of very small businesses ( 5 or less employees), gives everyone a variety of responsibilities.  Therefore, some responsibilities fall between the cracks.
3 – Larger businesses are spending less on training; the corporate cultures are not promoted nor accountable.
4 – COVID – need I say any more?
5 – Employees are not feeling the “love.”  They are expected to do more with less people and perhaps, not at increased rate.  Afterall, $7.25 minimum wage (PA) certainly doesn’t provide incentive.
6 – And last, the negative environment that surrounds us all, especially in this election year.

So, what to do?  How about taking some lessons from our 20th century leaders – Zig Ziglar, Tom Peters, Peter Drucker as well as 18th century Ben Franklin!

So as a refresher:

Ben said – “Well done is better than well said.” (– Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1737),
Peter – “So much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to work.”
Tom -“The magic formula that successful businesses have discovered is to treat customers like guests and employees like people.”  and
Zig -“Because the customer has a need, we have a job to do. Because the customer has a choice, we must be the better choice. Because the customer has sensibilities, we must be considerate. Because the customer has an urgency, we must be quick.”

Become a “customer/client” in your own business – be aware of the hoops you require your customers to go through (digitally and in-person – go to your own website and try to order something or find something…and listen to the voice mail messages…your own and the company’s), find and address the “coffee stains” in your organization and treat your employees the way you want them to treat your customers.