There’s a Yin-Yang pendulum that describes customer service. It seems that when the economy is bumpy, customer service improves, but as the economy gets better, service suffers.
Is it because businesses are more cognizant of their customers? Or maybe it’s because when the economy takes a nose dive, the people working the jobs that deal with customers have been displaced from better positions and are: a) more mature; b) painfully aware that without the customer, there is no business; c) accept that sometimes having a job – any job – is a wonderful thing. (I know, I’ve been there. It may have been a very long time ago, but the lesson is still vivid.)
The economy isn’t improving that much, but lately customer service seems to have been sinking.
Note that I’m not complaining.
I’m just saying that if you have a business and are looking for an advantage over your competition, now might be a good time to reach out and offer to go that little bit extra for your customers. Start with the regulars – the casual customers come and go, but the regulars are not only your bread and butter but also your link to new long term customers.
And if you do – I hope I’m one of your regulars.
God only knows where you came up with this “customer service” theme–especially at this time of Lent–but I think you’ve made a wonderful and introspective correlation. Like you say, “our service to others” is affected by the economy. We are also impacted by our self-concept, and the simple kindness we extend to others.
For example, we know economic disaster–our own and that of society–almost always begins with a philosophy of people “doing less and wanting more.”
We also know self-concept is key: It affects our ability to learn, our capacity to grow and change, our choice of friends, our next decision, and…our faith.
And as much as we need a prosperous economy, we also need a “prosperity of kindness and decency.” Ask decent people what they think matters most in human conduct and they’ll answer “kindness” if reminded.
Lent reminds us that it is our “business” to take time and effort to inventory ourselves to see how we serve–so we can all be “regulars.”