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May 15, 2013 / thegirlwiththedinotattoo

maybe we’re not meant to give good customer service

I posted on facebook earlier today a praise about great customer service I recently received, and there was the typical comment on how rare it is to find good service like that today.  Right now, I’m making a power point from a textbook on marketing, and it just mentioned how the US has entered this long-term shift from a goods-producing economy to a service-providing economy.  I’ve known this for a long time, but it struck me just now that maybe people, in general, are just not naturally good at customer service.

In previous times when the average worker would be in production of something, to some degree, they probably had very little to do with their customers (I’m thinking more industrial times), and even earlier than that, if you were a one-man shop, you probably had very few different customers and made your good specifically for each client (I’m thinking of tradesmen like blacksmiths and seamstresses).

Now we’re in this economy that requires most people to have some sort of interaction with their many different customers, and a society that is used to being served since we have so many industries that focus on said services, and maybe we, as humans, are just not naturally good at consistently putting up with demands and thinking of others continuously throughout the day.  I’m sure there are other cultures that are service-providers and do a better job at it, but I’m curious how much of that is just a better culture of being polite (such as many Asian cultures that are very concerned about not embarrassing others or even themselves) – are they too muttering behind customer’s backs or having those conversations in their minds where they finally get to tell off the rude client?

And those people who are inherently great at customer service (whom I envy, I do not have that talent), you deserve the raise and bonus and paid vacation or whatever you want – you guys deserve it for being better people than the rest of us.  I think most people are too prideful or self-concerned or whatever to be able to put aside our own interests and truly care what that customer would like to drink.

Just a thought.

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