Here is my question to you, when did customer service die in the United States? Did it collapse as the internet took all our attention away from personal interaction and into a 5” by 3” screen? Did it meet a bloody end when the Covid 19 pandemic took the average fun-loving citizen and bared them in their house for the better part of 5 months? Or did it, just like the fall of every great civilization before us, die on the backs of luxury and glut that was obtained by the backbreaking work of our forefathers?
DID YOU ORDER FRIES? THEY WERE DELICIOUS!
It seems as if the amusement industry does not even have to try anymore to get customers. People in the US after Covid are so desperate for entertainment that they will go anywhere and deal with the complete terrible service that is offered rather than sit at home and rewatch “Friends” for the 17th time. Just last week, I took my family to a miniature golf place and wanted some fries.
I ordered some at the stand and stood back, eagerly awaiting my food so I could get back to the activity at hand. As I waited with the horde of other people, I noticed no food was coming out of the stand. I went into the kitchen after 30 minutes to find the staff sitting at the counter, chatting, and eating the fries that I had ordered! This is the level we have reached. This trend does not stop with the amusement industry unfortunately, the lack of labor has caused laziness to invade almost every industry. Construction is so busy, that you pay a fortune just to get someone to show up and work, and you feel blessed to do so. As your neighbors are put on a waiting list for months for a simple closet remodel. Getting any customer service on the phone is downright impossible, forcing us to spend the time deciphering the personality of the latest chatbot, the only one that seems to have time for you. Going to a local eatery also is a mind-boggling experience. You order your food, get your food, and then are faced with a confounding mix of tip options. Social pressures force you to put something down, but the whole time you are thinking, “what did they do to deserve a tip”. Let me emphasize, it’s no one’s fault, it’s a product of too many people with specialized skills, with too much money looking for too few services.
Bounce Empire’s Solution
At Bounce Empire, my management team and I are going to try and stop this problem and make a new standard. A standard where people are served once again and human interaction becomes front and center. This first begins with hiring employees that take extreme pride in what they do. Forming an elite team is essential and once that team is assembled, the culture reinforces itself. As top people only want to be around top people. Of course, elite employees are not cheap, but they always add more value to an organization than they take.
The second step is the hardest, yet the most crucial. Top management must get their hands dirty. All great employees look up to role models whom they can learn from, and if the role model is always playing golf in Hawaii, the employees are going to be left feeling like pawns in the great financial world of chess. Exploited for their effort and talents. We have seen the benefits of this way of thinking in companies like Apple with Steve Jobs, Tesla with Elon Musk, and Ford with Henry Ford. All inspiring leaders who have everything, can do anything, yet spend their time leading and building day in and day out. It’s a trait far to rare in our current society. These are the first building blocks of bringing customers back into center stage. And overall, bringing a customer-first mentality back is the first step to making our country the top of the world stage for quality. The United States cannot compete with the hordes of people from India or China. So the quantity game is lost. That is no big heartbreak. But as a generation, we are competing for quality, and quality begins with the customer.