One of the benefits of the economic downturn from which we are emerging is a revitalized emphasis on customer service. Recently I was in a large discount store where no sales person ever used to give me a second glance. While I was mulling around, three different employees came up to me and politely asked if they could be of service. I have noticed this pleasing trend in numerous stores of late. What made the change? During the downturn, stores that used to be filled with shoppers were now only sparsely populated. Companies that were accustomed to profits rolling in, without having to provide any service, were shocked to find that their “loyal” customers didn’t come back. Profit hides problems. But when the profit goes away, the problems come into focus. Some companies failed to adjust and went out of business. But most have learned to thrive by adapting and improving.
Personally, I think this has been a good lesson for all of us. Companies have learned that they must step up and provide great service. They’ve learned that if they fail to train their employees to please the customer, the customer will find another company who does. Employees have learned that if the company doesn’t make money, they won’t have a job! They’ve also learned that the employee who goes the extra mile in servicing customers, generally has better job security.
Whether you work in sales or in the back office; whether you work in a manufacturing plant or a government agency; whether your paycheck actually bears the signature of the company president, a relative, or the governor; in reality, it is the customer that signs your paycheck. Keep this in mind next time you are interrupted or bothered by a customer. Then, stop what you are doing and give them the best service you can. It will pay dividends to you and to your company.