"There never was a bad man that had ability for good service."
--- Edmund Burke
You may have noticed the decline in service in US companies over the past ten years. Businesses from fast food restaurants, to car dealerships, to doctor's offices seem to have given up on providing good service for the customer. From a customer's standpoint, what used to be expected is now surprising. Simple things like eye contact, saying "thank you," and being polite are all now the exception.
Obviously, the owners or managers of these establishments are to blame, but much of the fault belongs to the parents of these front line employees. These workers probably never really learned the basic pleasantries that smoothes life's path, let alone assist with a business's profitability.
"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily."
--- Zig Ziglar
I still have the bad habit of drowning my pancakes in maple syrup. Lately, restaurants have been bringing those little packages of syrup to the table instead of the bottle, like the old days. When I order pancakes, I ask the server to bring me so many of those syrup packages that she thinks that it might be too many, then I ask her to add a few more.
In our industry, and for your particular business, service goes way beyond good manners. Service means giving more than you think possible, then giving just a little more.
"Some people choose not to donate their services because they believe that it somehow devalues them by "giving them away." In truth, there is nothing that demonstrates the value of your skills more than putting them to good use for a cause you believe in."
--- Scott Allen
In his book, Book Yourself Solid, Michael Port gives some tips on how to ensure that you always have customers. In a section of the book addressing networking, Port gives two good points for improving contact lists. First, share what you know. Share everything that you've learned with those who need the knowledge. Second, share whom you know. Whether family, friend, or business associate, everyone in your network is a potentially good connection for someone else.
Sadly, most of us are afraid to over-serve. We want to hold close to our chests the resources we've worked so hard to gather. But, as Port points out, by freely giving you will be seen as one who can help and therefore remembered when the time comes for another person to recommend a service or product that you provide.
"If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from that person's angle as well as from your own."
--- Henry Ford
Look to the needs of your customers and provide as much free stuff as you can stand. Go above and beyond in order to keep that customer for life. Treat the customer like family. Even if they haven't used your services in a while, send them a note or an article that pertains to their business that is helpful to them. Let them know that you care about the success of their endeavors and that you are still there if they need you.
"The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself."
--- Peter Drucker
Becoming close and personal with your customers allows you to know what they need when they need it. You and you alone will become the source because you are the one who truly serves.
The Rundown on Calendered Vinyl Films
By Rick Moore
Calendered vinyl films were once thought of as an inferior economical choice, but some calendered vinyl film manufacturers have come a long way in terms of product quality and breadth, by offering conformability, durability and that image pop that is required for the application.
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Roadside Text Messaging on LED Display Signs
By Louis M Brill
LED electronic signage has evolved into several types of highway sign systems that aid highway traffic managers by alerting drivers of current travel conditions to aid in traffic flow.
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In a bar in Chicago (sent to us by Al Cerkan, of Digital Imaging Resources, Inc., Chicago):
"Warning: Consumption of Alcohol by Pregnant Women May Lead to Birth Defects" handwritten beneath that: "Just Look Around You"
Seen at a junkyard in North Carolina:
"Drive Reckless. It Helps Business!"
As seen on a billboard ad for a safe company:
"If your stuff is stolen, it's not our vault."
Have you seen any funny signs lately? Why not share them with the world? Send your comments, suggestions, and hysterical observations to: firstname.lastname@example.org.