Service: annoyance or value add?

1 U.S. dollar banknoteTo your organization, is service an annoyance that you have to have or is it a value add that you want to have?

To many, service is a department that they have to have so that customers have someone to call when there’s a problem. So, companies have to find people with nice dispositions who can take abuse without freaking out. They are put out on the battlefront to take calls from frustrated customers, given a script, and told to process those calls (notice: not people) as quickly as possible. These companies have a strategy of delay, denial, and complication – whatever it takes to make problems go away.

For these businesses, service is a necessary evil, another cost, yet another thing that takes away from profit.

In contrast, there are companies who view service as what they do, period. These are companies that understand that the only reason for existing is to help others (helping, by the way, is what service is). These organizations don’t make service a department, they ensure everyone in the company can handle issues and be helpful. These businesses do things to try and ensure problems don’t happen at all. These companies see customers as people with needs, wants, and challenges – and sometimes those challenges have nothing to do with the product or the company.

For these companies, treating people well and being as helpful as possible is what adds value to everything they do. This is what defines them.

Which strategy do you think customers would rather experience? Which strategy does your organization practice? Which strategy do you think leads to long-term business success?

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