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The topic of Customer Service seems so passe or old school. Of course your thinking some of today’s organizations have built there empires on Quality Customer Service, as a key component in their Business Model‘s.  Companies like Amazon.com, Starbucks and Zappos, but is the term Customer Service just lip service for some companies?

Cecilia and I recently traveled to New York and I was surprised at the overall lack of customer service we received in New York.  The City of New York is so fast paced that it’s inhabitants don’t have time for “niceities”. Don’t worry Cecilia and I are both native New Yorkers.  Although we now call Minnesota our home New York will always have a special place  in our hearts.

That said all of the hustle and bustle of the big city, comes with an attitude and  a determined look that could move mountains of people.  As we walked on 42nd and Broadway it begain to rain.  I looked at my watch and realized it was 4:30, and people were getting off work. We quickly realized it may have been a bad idea to visit Times Square.

We seemed to be walking against traffic  forcing ourselves against waves of people, we were constantly caught in the rip currents of people.  As we were separated by the waves of people I shouted to Cecilia “Take My Hand” , she went under a sea of umbrellas and I lost her.  After we found each other we ran into a store to get our bearings. We locked arms and went back outside, and quickly hailed a taxicab back to our hotel.

The mood and atmosphere of the workforce in New York City is grey, black and white. Many of it’s inhabitants are, underemployed and underutilized. according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Averages Report:

  • U-1, persons unemployed 15 weeks or longer, as a percent of the civilian labor force; 6.4%
  • U-2, job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, as a percent of the civilian labor force; 5.8%
  • U-3, total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force (this is the definition used for the official unemployment rate);9.7%
  • U-4, total unemployed plus discouraged workers, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus discouraged workers; 10.7%
  • U-5, total unemployed, plus discouraged workers, plus all other marginally attached workers, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers; 11.8%
  • U-6, total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers. 15.8%

According to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, data the 8.2% jobless rate in New York State swells to 14.9% when “underutilized” workers are taken into account.

Many workers  dropped out of the job market to upgrade their skills,  are members of this group–so are skilled immigrants.

Oddly enough New York is doing better than the rest of the Nation which has an official 16.1% “underemployment” rate.

This high rate of underemployment causes disengagement and it comes across in the customer service  or should I say the lack thereof.

So not only are marriages, children, home purchases and retirements delayed for New Yorkers as a result, but so are opportunities to build customer relationships.

Being Customer Centered means:

1 Anticipating the customers needs

2 Listening to the customer

3 Learning how to satisfy the customer

4 Responding appropriately to the customer

Do we expect it or not? When you go through the drive through do you want you order taken  fast? Do you expect the person who takes your order to get it right?  What else do you expect? Do you expect a straw and napkins?

Although underemployment is part of today’s job market, customer service doesn’t have to be an after thought.  To build employee moral employers need to find savvy ways to engage employees. Empowerment occurs when employees are adequately trained, provided with all relevant information and the best possible tools, fully involved in key decisions, and fairly rewarded for results.(Lawler III)

21st Century Leaders are leading in the age of human capital.  Human Capitol encompasses all present and future workforce participants and emphasizes the need to develop their fullest potential for the benefit of the global economy.

To learn more about how to empower your employees visit our website http://www.stantonadams.com

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