It’s evidenced by the automated phone messages that repeatedly assure us that “our call is important to them”, and then make us jump through an endless labyrinth of prompts and codes. We see it with the grocery store cashier who doesn’t even make eye contact with us as he or she drones “…have a nice day…” in a Ben Stein-ian monotone.
It’s not like this is rocket science, gang: a sincere smile, a pleasant “how may I assist you?”, and then actively helping us is really all we want.
We just don’t get it very often.
We just covered the striking Fast Food employees (“Attention Fast Food workers: you may ALREADY be obsolete“), and their insistence on a Living Wage. Well, I’ve got some free advice for them: when you start becoming an added value to your employer, your employer will pay you more.
Or at the very least, if you are providing a truly superior level of service, your employer will be far more hesitant about replacing you with a voice-mail system or a touch-screen.
And yes, it really is that simple.
This all comes back to perspective: how much do we appreciate being gainfully employed? I propose that somewhere along the line, people ceased being happy or grateful about working. And although there’s more than just one reason for this, one HUGE contributing factor stands out to me: with our government spreading taxpayer-funded benefits like a farmer spreads manure, working has become the “sucker” option.
Why should you care about how well you perform your job’s duties, if the possibility of getting fired isn’t scary?
For that matter, why work at all, when you can eat and live just as well (or at least well enough) by NOT working?
This all leads me to an article from the UK Daily Mail, which tells of a recent study challenging various folks in Britain to live on the equivalent of what they’d have received when the English welfare state was born in 1949.
It’s very long but fascinating, and I strongly recommend you read the entire post. The results were more than a little depressing, with the article’s author summing it up this way:
“The 1949 system worked best for those who wanted to work.
The system now works best for those who don’t.”
And although she was referring to England, it’s impossible not to reach the same conclusion about this side of the Atlantic.
There are those who’ll argue that this was always by design, while others will blame good intentions gone wrong. At this point, it doesn’t matter all that much.
Because now, the problem is worsening with each passing day. And if we don’t turn this around, quickly, poor Customer Service will be the least of our problems.