Do you remember the Discover Card commercial with the burly bearded Slavic customer service man, picking up the phone and saying, “hello, this is Peggy”?
Maybe you found that commercial funny and maybe you didn’t. But what we didn’t know was how futuristic it was. Because now more than ever some of the largest American companies in the world have moved more of their staff offshore to other portions of the world, no matter at what cost it is to us, their consumers.
I’m not racial, sexist, or biased. And God only knows I couldn’t master a foreign language and the software necessary for their job in a six-week window like many of these third world country employees must do, so I do admire their tenacity and drive. But should that excuse the lack of language and service most of us receive daily now by so many of our beloved American institutional companies?
No! Straight up, NO! While these moves help companies’ bottom lines, they do nothing for customer service or experience, which is so essential to creating and building loyalty. Ahh brand loyalty, a phrase from the past when quality of a product or a superior customer service experience really meant something.
There’s still company loyalty here and there, but not for the same basic reasons there was before. I remember as a child going into Sears with my parents. They bought almost everything from Sears, from clothes, vacuums to washer/dryers. Why? The quality of the product and the expertise of each salesperson in every department.
I go into a store these days and many of their employees have no serious knowledge, hell some don’t even know what aisle something can be found in. It’s really sad. Worse yet, we have become very sad.
Maybe it’s time for us little folks to rise-up, even if it’s one at a time, and begin to let companies know this lack of service and quality aren’t acceptable any longer.
Maybe it’s time we vote with our wallets since nothing else seems to be working. And while we’re at it, maybe it’s time for every one of us to seriously take some pride in our professions and just not consider it a paycheck. I find it interesting how many folks live by a double standard. They want to be treated courteously and helped professionally when they need something, but when it’s their turn to step up, and help someone else, they can’t be bothered! Folks, it really does start with each of us!
So, maybe it’s time we send a message to the big companies whose bottom lines continue to grow while we suffer at their whim. Maybe it’s time to send them all a message by buying less from them. Maybe it’s time to take a little extra time to find alternatives. Sure, we’ll spend a little more time in the beginning but greatly benefit in the end.
And maybe it’s time to put real pride back into America!
Oh, how I long for the days you could walk into a hardware store and the staff could literally help you with everything from fixing a window screen to buying a gallon of paint.
Companies, big and small need to hire capable employees and train them correctly. They need to worry about the customer experience every minute of every day.
In the end, my agency is tasked with bringing more customers to our clients, that’s what we do. We’re pretty darn good at it. But then again, our offices are in the states, our people are highly trained, and we still try to treat others the way we would like to be treated.
Keeping the new business we bring our clients, is on the client! Just honestly look into your company mirror, you’ll know!