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By: Westley Annis
This is a guest article from Westley Annis. Please enjoy these words of wisdom.
Customer Service is everything.
Anyone who has been in business for more than three hours knows that to be true.
The funny thing, is that customer service seems to be falling away. The first time you go into a store and see a self-checkout register, you go to it for the novelty of it. The second time you do it because the service at a human check-out register is lacking. Not all self-checkouts are created equal. At WalMart, they are nearly as useless as a human check-out if you have more than a few items. Home Depot is a little better, but you better not have any big items. Sam's Club, who just rolled theirs out in November 2011 are the absolute best. So, your mileage will vary depending upon where you are shopping.
Every national chain, especially franchises, now have only surveys where they want to know what kind of experience you had. This means it should be even easier to keep track of the service level of individual stores and workers. Unfortunately, either they are not getting enough people to fill out the surveys or they are ignoring them.
I am a mystery shopper. I get paid to visit different businesses as a customer and report back about my experience. The report I have to give is detailed. In fact, I am instructed on specific things to look for. I know what the uniform code is, how displays are supposed to be arranged and how long I should wait in line.
However, I don't think I would need this knowledge to recognize the level of bad service that is rampant, especially at fast food restaurants. With the level of service you find at a McDonald's or Burger King, could they have grown from a few stores to the international chains they are today? The same goes with some of the younger chains like Subway.
Do we, as the paying public, accept the mediocre service in exchange for moderate prices and hopefully fast service? The cost of a "value meal", or whatever they want to call it, for one person is close to $7.00. For another few dollars, you can often get better food and better service, but at a slower pace. Now that I think about it, maybe this old business sign is truer today then it ever was.
Marvin LeBlanc LUTCF, CNP, is a performance strategist and author of the number one Amazon Kindle best-selling book, Come Hell or High Water: Life Lessons from Hurricane Katrina. Marvin not only brings wisdom and insight gained from his three decades in the insurance and finance industries, but he also empowers others through his unique sharing of lessons and techniques from years of corporate and leadership training and motivational programs. A vibrant entrepreneur who makes the stage his own–and yours, Marvin’s humor-filled stories bring inspiration, heart-warming truths and tangible, strategic takeaways you can bring back to your organization.
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