What’s Your Mission?

I recently had a problem with my air conditioning and had to call the HVAC repairman to come over and fix it.  Now, my HVAC guy is really good and he takes care of his customers.  He goes out of his way for loyal customers, and does everything he can to communicate with you and help you understand what’s happening as well as to minimize cost.  I appreciate all of that and think he’s awesome.

However, one thing that he said over and over stuck in my head.  He would continually refer to new sales as installation and to repair as service.  While it is only language, I think language influences how we think about things and, in turn, influences our behaviors.

Why is all of it not called service?  Isn’t the installation of new products a service?  Is repair somehow service and sales not?  Perhaps this suggests something wrong in business in general.  We compartmentalize service into a department or specific role instead of making service the mission to which everything we do must conform.  Service is at the heart of business, indeed I say it often, service is the business of business, it is the reason we have businesses.  Isn’t serving customers the point of everything you do, from marketing to sales to delivery to operations?  Aren’t customers the reason behind it all?  Why then is service a piece of the pie?  Shouldn’t service be the pie?

Question:  Do you compartmentalize service as something separate in your business or is it your business?

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