Lately I feel like starting a competitor to every service business I run into. Whether it’s getting a quote for tree trimming, buying home improvement supplies, or eating something…the service and attention I’m getting is sub-par (save the experiences I’ve noted in my blog before) I had a chat with a friend about "The ubiquitous decline of service quality" I’m experiencing and it always comes back to the people.
It’s the people you hire that are the face and quality of the experience you provide, i.e. your brand. If you think that simple cash register ringers are all that’s required at a home improvement store, you’re wrong. If interaction with regular clients isn’t happening, those people will cease to be regular clients. I’ve been a regular customer of a certain coffee shop for months now. Not once has a manager taken the time to get to know me or why I’m sitting in their facility hours at a time…many days per week. If not for other regulars that meet there too, I’d jump ship in a heartbeat. This place even asks for your name…and they ask me, every time because they have no acknowledgment that I’m supporting their brand and their profits. Remember it’s not just my coffee purchases that matter…it’s every meeting I have there, every family lunch, client lunch, and gift card that I buy for others that factors into the equation.
Does this investment in the right people affect short term profitability? Probably. Is it the right thing to do for the long term. Certainly. I’d rather be my "customer’s darling" than Wall Street’s darling any day.