The Bar Of Expectations... Do We Have A Responsibility To Raise It?
Do you want to just step over this or help raise the bar?
Unemployment is at one of the nations all time high levels. Well educated people who can read, think and reason are all over the work place applying for the same jobs as hundreds in hopes of maintaining their homes and food for their families.
The law of supply and demand should be in effect now with having such a large supply of workers to fill the small amount of job openings. The workplace should be filled with cordial, helpful and professional workers. Consumers should NOT accept substandard service and if you do not say anything, you are adding to the problem where you could be part of the solution.
I am tired of stepping over the bar and making excuses about why the service industry cannot satisfy the consumer. I feel I now have a responsibility to HELP the standards of service by communicating with management in a business like manner to do my part in monitoring the standard of care the customer experiences.
Earth to BUSINESS OWNERS from the Cosmos: Consumers are talking and you might want to listen!
- Each customer should feel like they are important to the store or service survival.
- Each customer should feel happy after doing a transaction with your business.
- Each customer should want to connect with you in social media because they like what you provide.
- Each customer should want to be a raving fan and share your information with their friends.
One perfect example of social media and consumer satisfaction ratings can be found on Yelp. Our voices do MAKE a difference. Foursquare is another venue where consumers can voice their opinions openly for others to read and assess. Cosmic Shift Happens™ are you ready for it and do you know how to make a difference in it?
"Yelp is the fun and easy way to find and talk about great (and not so great) local businesses"
Recently, while in Phoenix we wanted to try Jimmy Buffett's Maragaritaville and see what the food was like. I looked at the reviews on Yelp and at the time, the overwhelming remarks indicated the food was mediocre and high priced but the experience was a good event. There were also mentions of a few quality items. We thought about the food and cost but decided that the "memory" was more important and went anyway. Yes, the food was marginal, the cost was high and No, we won't go back. Been there done that however, did not get the t-shirt.
How does a business modify in today's world to meet customer expectations? It takes time and energy to READ what consumers are writing and to respond to make things right. Ask Nordstorms.. they KNOW how to create customer loyalty and satisfaction. I think "The Nordstrom Way" is a must read for anyone in business no matter what the product or service you sell. They "Get It." Think about it... have you ever heard anyone say anything negative about service at Nordstroms?
National coach and "queen of bliss," Joeann Fossland did a post on how she used Twitter and facebook to work through a customer issue with Lowes. She used the power of her cyber connections to achieve an acceptable resolution to a conflict she had with a service representative. Lowe's was watching the twitter feed therfore responded quickly and to her satisfaction.
Sharing examples of how we can make a difference might help all consumers in some way. Our mother's told us.. it's not what you say but HOW you say it. So say it nicely and professionally but tell all business owners or managers your concerns.
Our daughter got married 10.10.10 on the Colorado River in Laughlin, Nevada. Andy, our son-in-law from Colorado shot pictures of the wedding and took 13 rolls of film to Walgreen's in Bullhead City, AZ for 1 hour service so we could all have instant gratification with pictures. Along with double prints, he ordered 2 sets of CD's with digital images of the photos so everyone could e-mail and share the wedding day. The CD's were an important part of the package as we wanted to share the festivity immediately on flickr so everyone could see. (So can you; click the flickr link)
Andy took the negatives, 1 copy of the CD and the prints they wanted from the order and were back on their way out of town. The honeymooners were not going to be back for awhile so the posting of the digital images was something they were looking forward to right away. I got the 2nd set of prints and a CD to start the Internet input. As I opened the CD I found the images were all upside down! Yikes.. no batch edit on the CD so that meant 314 photos needed to be rotated 180 degrees individually. This just did not seem right to me. The bar of expectation was on the ground and I was going to have to step over it.
314 photos all upside down!
I called Walgreen's to do my part in raising the bar and got the photo department. They told me that someone did the photos who was just filling in so if I wanted to bring the negatives back in they would make new CD's at half price. The negatives were in Colorado, I was in Williams, AZ, 2 hours away from Bullhead City and that was not going to be acceptable. The quality of the CD's were so grainy that it now appears as though some setting might have been wrong when they transferred the images to the CD as well. I wanted a full refund on the CD's so the photo manager needed to check with the store manager. Randy Winter was a very nice manager who called me back and agreed to give a full refund on the CD's to my son-in-law. I asked him if Walgreen's had any social media sites and he said no. I wanted to express my appreciation for taking care of the issues by tweeting or posting on facebook. They were willing to re-do the CD's so if I had the negatives and didn't live 2 hours away I would have been completely satisfied.
Working a plan B, I will be getting the negatives at Thanksgiving time in Colorado and then will take the negatives to a local Walgreen's and have them re-done with the right quality. It's a good thing I am adept at accepting plan B and know how to step over the bar or I might have been very angry creating stress and losing balance. I just built a bridge and moved forward. I rotated the bad quality digital images and will get better quality photos 2 months later.
While having family fun with our grand kids at the wedding we decided to add a new rule of life to the 10 we already have. It is the "10 second rule." Anyone can have 10 seconds to have a "pity party" about something but if there is nothing they can do after assessing the information you have 10 seconds to feel bad and then you need to move on. Until we can help the service industry raise the bar we have to be able to process our stress without anxiety and know we are doing our best to actively correct the situation we have been exposed to.
This is a wake up call is to ALL businesses. When you have an opening and are hiring new people PLEASE do not avoid hiring people you think are overqualified for the position. That one person may just bring the quality of service up higher and once you start moving the bar up the other employees will start watching. The single action of hiring an overqualified person could possibly raise that bar for your customer service because of the example set by the one new hire, who understands customer satisfaction.
We do have a responsibility to expect good customer service even though it might appear to be negative energy to rectify the situation. The time you take to HELP raise the bar will help other consumers in the end.
America is the greatest country in the world. Let's keep it that way!
Comment P.S. Remember that a compliment for outstanding service is the perfect way to create balance and respect in your community!