Week of 3 Sept 07
If you think you are not involved in customer service, read on—this column is for you and just may save your job.
When I arrive at a motel or hotel (and I do that about 100 nights per year), there is a certain set of procedures that must be followed, whether the lodging establishment be in a rural or urban setting. It goes something like this:
1. I have to find a parking place and park between the lines (unless I am choosing valet parking, where available, in which case I have to find the valet and pretend like I am interested in what s/he is saying).
2. My bags must be moved from my car to the front desk, and, again, depending on conditions, I am either doing that myself or receiving some help (for an imputed, separate fee).
3. I may have to wait in line or at least stand and make nice to someone checking me in to the facility. Interruption—the phone just rang, so the clerk will handle that before talking to people that went to the trouble of physically standing in front of him/her. Need to pull out my credit card, identify myself, write down the make, model, color and license tag of my vehicle.
4. Now I receive a room key, and, oops, don’t forget the wireless Internet code, either.
5. Somewhere along the way, there will be prattle from the clerk about breakfast and other amenities.
6. Now, I go to my room, which most likely involves an elevator ride, even in rural settings. The elevator ride involves pushing a button, waiting for the elevator, being polite to others and letting them on first, pushing the button for my floor, waiting politely for others to get off if their floor is before mine and so forth.
7. Exiting the elevator, I have to find my room, pray the key works so I don’t have to schlep all my luggage back downstairs for another, and, finally, I am in my room with my luggage—the only objective of this entire seven step process.
And I am paying for this privilege.
Imagine this situation performed under XCS conditions:
1. I arrive to the only room on the property, someone takes the bags out of my car, puts them in the room, and I walk in.
1. In the case of when I want a view, I arrive on the property, step on the elevator (which has only one button—that being my destination), with the aid of someone who brings along my bags, and we get off three hundred feet in the air (there are no structures but the elevator and my room) and I go into my room.
XCS Conditions would obviously cost more than what I pay now, but hopefully you get the point. Look at all the stuff we put up with without questioning!! Service is so poor we take poor service for granted.
Now, though, back to you. I don’t care what your job is, you are in customer service. You may not deal with traditional customers outside your facility, but most likely your job exist to deal with internal customers (in a broad sense, your job exist only to help your fellow employees who deal directly with outside customers spin the invoice printer). In fact, I can not think of one single job or job description that does not involve a significant amount of customer service.