What’s It Going to Take?

How many examples do we have to see before we realize that customer service is rapidly going the way of the family dinners and roof-top TV antennas?

Not only is it disappearing … it’s becoming a joke of sorts. Late night comedians share examples of poor or non-existent customer service on a regular basis. It makes headline news almost daily. Sadly, we’re beginning to accept this unfortunate trend as commonplace!

Last week, two of our nation’s largest casual dining chains—Applebee’s and Olive Garden—accidentally served alcohol to young children. A 15-month-old boy’s sippy cup was filled with margarita mix and alcohol rather than apple juice! In another case, a 2-year-old was served alcoholic sangria rather than orange juice! Either of these incidences could have been disastrous! These two examples are said to be just the tip of the iceberg for the country’s $604 billion restaurant industry at a time when they struggle to overcome the effects of a staggering economy.

The National Restaurant Association reports that more than 150 million meals are served daily in the U.S. How many examples such as these have gone unreported? Restaurant and PR consultants suggests that restaurants must “Retrain Staff” and “Rethink Policies.” Think about that suggestion for just a moment. What does that say of current training and existing policies? I’m afraid it’s going to take more than just that.

Excellent customer service must become an essential element of the culture of any business that strives for success in today’s chaotic and competitive environment!

This issue can be a life-and-death challenge if not taken seriously. Consider the possible outcomes of the above examples alone. And it’s not just one industry facing this challenge.

All of a sudden, air traffic controllers are in headlines from coast to coast, and it’s not good news. They’re falling asleep on the job, ridiculously undermanned in the towers, poorly trained, and even playing video games while directing flights. The FAA reported this week that air-traffic errors have risen 81%! 1,800 errors by air-traffic controllers were reported last year! Consider the lives, both in the air and on the ground, that are in jeopardy as a result of these figures!

A recent three-year study by the National Federation of Independent Business revealed that businesses that focused on customer service were more successful than their price or product-minded competitors.

Where is YOUR focus and what are the future consequences, good or bad, of that focus? Give it some serious thought before it’s too late!

Our Customer Service Training campaign continues across the country. Join us in focusing on this critical issue!

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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