That’s right, most of the so called “customer service” you are receiving, most likely sucks.
This weekend, my grandparents asked me to accompany them while they purchased a new car. My grandma insisted that they stay local,”I want to buy from one of dealers in this town because I know them and they will take care of me.” I found myself shaking my head, grumbling under my breath that she was just being “old fashioned.” However, by the end of the day, the experience really caused me to take pause and question if all our efforts to create a global marketplace, where everything is bigger, better, and most importantly cheaper, had a dark side of killing personal relationships.
My grandparents live in a quaint old town, with a classic main street that is lined with local shops, everything from a soda fountain that still cooks greasy burgers and fries to a shoe repair shop that that has been there for 90 years. However, with each passing year, main street is slowly dying, being pushed out by large box stores being built on the edge of town. This same scene is being played out across the country as we demand we get our products quicker and quicker for cheaper and cheaper. But at what cost?
Compared to the local car dealership, that has been taking care of my grandparents for over 50 years, the people staffing the local box stores and chain restaurants are just temporary. The guy at the car dealership has been there 20 years and will probably be there another 40, he took the business over from his father, they are “part of the town.” The girl working down at the Home Depot probably won’t be there next year, the guy taking your order at Wendy’s will have moved on the next time you stop in. It’s not that they don’t care and it’s not that these businesses don’t stress the importance of good customer service, it’s that they simply aren’t part of the community.
So as businesses are expanding and main street is dying, what are you doing to ensure that you are part of the community and most importantly, you are giving your customers the same great customer service that the small shop on Main Street, Anytown USA, loyally gave their customers for 150 years?