Monday, September 18, 2006

Customer Service?

I was an early adopter of the cell phone. The idea of not being tethered to a phone line was the answer to my dreams. I quickly dropped my home phone line, confident that my cell phone would be all the communication I would ever need.

Oh sure, there were a few problems early on - dropped calls, poor reception, billing errors. You expect this with any new technology. I was sure these problems would be solved in a few months and the world would be a wonderful place, with people freely communicating with anyone whenever they liked.

Ten years later, the problems haven’t gone away; they may have gotten worse. I may have to go back to a land line in my apartment because my cell phone doesn’t work there. There is a lot of discussion about how this situation came about, but it comes down to not putting the customer first. Good business has always been about giving your best to the customer. Businesses that don’t understand that, shouldn’t last very long.

The Bible says in Philippians 2:4, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.” Jesus said to treat others the way you would like to be treated. These are pretty basic business principles, but they seem to be overlooked so often in today’s business settings. These principles apply whether you are a barista working in a coffeehouse or a CEO deciding whether to out-source “customer service” to India. Each of us can decide how we would like to be treated. Whether you are the guy behind the counter or the one behind the mahogany desk, are you looking out for your interest or the best interest of your customers?