September 25, 2010

"Who Gives A Damn Anymore...?"

Is the emphasis of the service industry on making a sale or making a customer? Does customer service exist...is tipping required or earned?  Share your thoughts.

13 comments:

  1. Years ago, I entered the Shrine of the Black Madonna Bookstore in Atlanta. I had a budget of $1,000 to purchase items for the African American Cultural Center at UGA. I wandered about the store picking out the perfect items totaling over $800. I went to the the cashier and explained that what I did and that I would like to patronize the store for materials for the Center. To that end, I requested a discount since I was making such a sizeable purchase. The cashier informed me that she could not do anything and called for the manager. To my surprise the manager said that there was no discount he could give me. I then proceeded to pull out the items that I had to have due to time constraints. Instead of spending pver $800, I ended up spending less than $200. While I was sorting out items, I commented to the manager and the cashier that it was painfully obvious that they were more concerned with making a sale than making a customer.

    Conversely, in Athens, I frequently a particular bookstore all the time purchasing books for the Center and myself. Over a short period of time the manager of the store would call me by name upon entering and then she would give (yes, give) me books that she thought I would be interested. In other words. she understood the value of making a customer.

    So to this, it's important to understand the difference between a sale and a customer. A sale is something that happens one time. A customer is someone who will return repeatedly to make purchases and recommend others to do the same.

    I believe that as a society we had gotten away from setting our goals to make customers. So many people are so concerned with the here and now that they can't see the future. Those who are most successful are those who know that a sale today is just for today, but a customer represents sells for a lifetime.

    It's scary that many times we are shocked when we receive good service. I hope that all of us verbally recognize good service like I do in order to encourage it continuing.

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  2. Karen L. R. for AtlantaSeptember 27, 2010

    I was reminded of this post as I made a purchase today saw a sign advertising that it was 'double points' day. As I was leaving the store, I wondered...what is the status of my account?...how do I even know how many points I have, much les...s if this double points deal gets accurately reported. So my sister and I turned around to inquire. The salesperson did not know how we could find this out so she explained how the promo works. (clear throat, clear throat...that was not the question.) She could not answer the question, nor did she TRY TO FIND THE ANSWER. Instead she gave us a brochure that explained the program and there was a number on the bottom of the page we could CALL. Forget you knowing your job and what the heck your advertisement means,...just ring 'em up and move 'em on.

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  3. Here's a unrepresentative slice. I took the bus home and was waiting for a transfer in ~15 min. Walked into a bike shop near the bus stop. Just wanted to chill and see some new bikes.

    I was accosted by the sales rep. Talk about flies o...n sheet. I had to listen to him even though the first thing out of my mouth was "waited for my bus". Went over his head. I made my escape as fast and as civil as I could. My browsing experience was ruined. And to top it off I knew so much more than the sales rep about commuting bikes. He acted like a used car salesman.

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  4. Customer service only still exists with companies who care about their customers. Most companies however are more concerned with the Bottom Line and quantity of customers opposed to quality of customers and whether they will return or not. Where is Tom Peters when you need him?

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  5. A. Willis...September 27, 2010

    It,s about dollars and cents. Hi volume. When social service agency don't care. Its not likely that other business will care. Everything is about numbers versus service. Although every now and again; you can run across people that care regardless of others around them. It is a catch 22. You need volume to stay in business, but you need good service to get volume and you can't give good service when your working with a skeleton crew. Whats the answer? Not sure.

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  6. Whatever happened to:

    "I do not know; but, let me find out sir and get back to you."

    or

    "Oh, sorry this is not what you ordered/wanted, let me take this off your bill and bring you something else compliments of the house."

    or

    "If you have any questions, I'll be standing over here out of your way and not hovering over you if you need me."

    Hmmmm...

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  7. In today's society, most institutions are concerned with making money as oppose to servicing customers. For example, academic institutions count students as customers and not students. The emphasis here is on how many federal dollars can the school get per number of students as oppose to students getting a quality education. Unfortunately, this holds true for the church as well. Our society does not care about the value of the person except in dollar signs.

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  8. I was just having this conversation with some folks last week. We were commenting on how excellent the customer service is in our local Publix Supermarket.
    The emphasis these days definitely seems to be on making the sale rather than making a customer. It's a shame that good customer service is more often a surprise instead of the norm.
    My husband spent a lot of years in sales management and he always says that the employee will follow the lead of management. If the manager cares (and therefore stresses customer care), the employees will act accordingly.
    I agree that it all boils down to money. Businesses unfortunately seem to be more concerned about the dollars than those who are spending the dollars.

    Sharmayn

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  9. Kate HughesOctober 02, 2010

    how do you treat the service providers..?

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  10. Hey, can I get some service over here?

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  11. how do you treat the service providers..?

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  12. Karen L. R. for AtlantaDecember 30, 2010

    I was reminded of this post as I made a purchase today saw a sign advertising that it was 'double points' day. As I was leaving the store, I wondered...what is the status of my account?...how do I even know how many points I have, much les...s if this double points deal gets accurately reported. So my sister and I turned around to inquire. The salesperson did not know how we could find this out so she explained how the promo works. (clear throat, clear throat...that was not the question.) She could not answer the question, nor did she TRY TO FIND THE ANSWER. Instead she gave us a brochure that explained the program and there was a number on the bottom of the page we could CALL. Forget you knowing your job and what the heck your advertisement means,...just ring 'em up and move 'em on.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Here's a unrepresentative slice. I took the bus home and was waiting for a transfer in ~15 min. Walked into a bike shop near the bus stop. Just wanted to chill and see some new bikes.

    I was accosted by the sales rep. Talk about flies o...n sheet. I had to listen to him even though the first thing out of my mouth was "waited for my bus". Went over his head. I made my escape as fast and as civil as I could. My browsing experience was ruined. And to top it off I knew so much more than the sales rep about commuting bikes. He acted like a used car salesman.

    ReplyDelete

So, what's your take on this? Oh c'mon, share a little!