First, let me ask you a question: When was the last time you were given amazing customer service? I don’t mean service that simply gave you what you paid for and did it with a smile and a bonus “have a nice day.” I mean the kind of service that throws out the rules of business and treats you like someone of value and an individual with needs different than the last customer’s needs. Not a one-size-fit all approach that we’ve come to know as the norm.
Is good old fashion customer service so far a thing of the past that the majority of this generation never really knew what it was to begin with? Have we gotten so used to the automated systems and virtual relationships that nothing is genuine anymore?
I DON’T THINK SO.
I am not complaining. I am proud of where we are… although I wasn’t at first. I was more skeptical and angrier than most. I don’t mean to harp on the big businesses — after all they are run by people who have needs just as you and I do. But very often in big business we are unable to speak to real people who are able to meet our needs as their customers. Big business has become a large robot not programmed to care about our feelings, sensitivities, and real human experience. We grew up being told that everyone is special, but big business has taught us that everyone is exactly the same and that extraordinary needs are not tolerated — or, at least, the robot is not programmed to understand them.
However, the good news is that recently I’ve seen a shift in that energy. People are needing to connect on a more human level. True we are communicating through text messages, emails, and blogs (ahem), but we are still connecting. And in some ways there is more of a connection because we all have access to one another on a level much greater than ever before: The Internet.
The Wonderful World of Web is a really good thing! So good that, if we read between the lines, we will see our unlimited potential and how capable we are of getting back to that sense of good old fashion customer service mentality.
Since we are able to shop and do business online, we can now choose from literally millions of companies to work with. If we don’t like their service, we can go elsewhere, just as easily. It’s not like we have to drive over to the next town because we didn’t like the clerk at the grocery store. We can buy from just about anyone we want.
Do you realize how much power this gives us?
It means the big businesses are losing us and, actually, the loss that big corporations have already suffered is a primary contribution to the recession we are in right now.
But that’s OK. It’s all part of how society rebuilds itself. Sometimes you have to take a step back before you can go forward.
So, if we see the recession as a not-so-bad thing, we can use it to our advantage. Are you with me?
What this means is that smaller businesses, for the first time in decades, have a fighting chance. And in case you haven’t noticed, small business is exploding.
They have something big businesses don’t have: a personal touch.
For those of you who don’t remember what it was like to have this so-called “good customer service,” don’t feel bad. I don’t know that I do either, but I’ve seen a lot of movies and I’ve listened to a lot of old people talk about what it was like in “their day.” I imagine it to be something like this:
People GAVE because they were in a position TO GIVE. I imagine there were some people who didn’t hold up their end of the bargain, but hey, it probably all evened out in the end. Some people call it Karma — and Karma is a concept that has been around since the beginning of time.
So, there is your answer! Karma is the way that we are going to survive this recession.
You have something? Give. You need something? Take.
This recession is a way for the universe to clean the world up a bit, and rebuild the social order of our culture. You can’t have a rainbow without first having a storm.
This new (or should I say old fashioned) way of business is creeping into the general public more and more. And I am mighty impressed, I have to say.
Here is the best part: You can choose who to do business with, and if you choose to support the small business men and women in our society, I can pretty much guarantee that they will support you, and give you that personal touch which has been missing for the last 30 years.
P.S. You can find those men and women at http://www.ourmilkmoney.com/.
Ally Loprete is the Co-Founder of OurMilkMoney.com, an online directory of self-employed parents across the country. Ally’s focus is to help expose parents working to create a better life for their families and her mission is to educate consumers on the value of purchasing from the small business owner. Ally is passionate about inspiring parents to connect with one another, and will often write about the brilliant ideas that seem to come to her only in the shower or while blowing her hair dry.