January 21, 2007
Liz published this at 5:44 am
Hey, Scot, How Can We Change the World?
Scot Herrick has been a friend of so many in so many ways for so long. He has a natural sense of people and how they work together. Scot also pairs this sensibility with a business view that brings a well-rounded, real-world focus.
When Scot sent a post for adding his voice to this series, I knew that I would use it — even before I read it. I knew that Scot would offer a work of substance and value, a practical, personal way that we might change the world. I wasn’t wrong about that.
Change the World: Personal Service Counts
Guest Writer: Scot Herrick
Have you noticed the large increase in self-service options available to you? Sometimes the only option?
ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a reason for that, you know. Self-service is the least cost option available for companies to provide you service. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s because it is your time spent searching for answers and a small group of people pumping possible answers into a database to present to you when you check things out online.
Now, I like doing business online. Usually, the process around purchasing or servicing or finding out about stuff is pretty straight-forward and now almost standard between sites. For example, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d much rather order online than go to a retail store and buy something or call someone up and order something.
Most of the time.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d contend that we live in a self-service planet Ã¢â‚¬â€œ but we need to live in a service-rich world, one where self-service is merely an option to all different kinds of service levels.
After researching products on self service sites, for example, I walked into a retail PC store to buy a high-end laptop PC and spent an hour trying to get an answer or two from a salesperson, who was one in name only. I wanted to spend the money. I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t because I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get a tiny bit of professional knowledge and service about what I was asking.
I contrast that with the same self-service information, moving up the service chain by calling a professional salesperson 1800 miles away the next day who supplemented an online ordering site, having a good 15-minute conversation about my computer needs and mutually determining what fit the best for those needs with the products they offered. I then confidently ordered a laptop that met them Ã¢â‚¬â€œ for about $300 more than the one I was trying to buy in the retail store.
The entire service chain Ã¢â‚¬â€œ from self-service, to personal service, to fulfillment of an order, to servicing the order Ã¢â‚¬â€œ counts as part of your service experience. Have anything fail in the service chain and you are left with that bitter feeling of not getting what you needed.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not hard to be of service to others: simply listen to the other person and think through the fit of your products and services based upon the other personÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s point of view. Not having a service that meets the specific needs of a person is a legitimate answer. Referring another who can provide the service means your person will remember you — who referred well and received no gain. The person you referred to will remember you as well.
This is true whether you work for a large corporation, are a self-employed home worker, or helping your friends.
People looking for help remember professional, expert people who helped them Ã¢â‚¬â€œ not systems, not databases, not knowledgebases, not tools, and not the Internet. People remember great people.
Self service can be the lowest cost service option. But lowest cost doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t figure in the price paid for not offering great, professional service.
Help others by providing personal service. We can change the world if we do.
Scot Herrick writes at Cube Rules: Career Management for Cubicle Warriors
Thank you, Scot, for showing us how.
We can change the world — just like that.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
If you’re ready to change the world, send me your thoughts in a guest post. Feel free to take the gorgeous Change the World image up there that Sandy designed back to your blog. Or help yourself to this one.
Email me about what you’re doing or what we might do. Let’s change the world one bit at a time together. Together it can’t take forever.