I was listening to a 60′s compilation on my computer the other day. There was something in the lyrics, for when compared to music of today, singers of yesteryear sang more about adventures and the outdoors. Having survived the music industry, I know first hand that music is definitely a voice of a generation. So it was obvious that there was a lack of songs in today’s popular culture talking about outdoor adventures and explorations, when we are all connected on mobile devices and computers.
Flash forward to today. Monday. Manic Monday. I needed to get something at the DMV and there was an option to either do it online, or go into the offices in person. I shuddered to think what “going in person” would do to me. I hadn’t set foot in a government building since DSL was invented! There had to be another way. After tirelessly searching online for close to an hour on how to avoid a trip to the DMV, I decided I had to cave – just go in person.
As it turns out, the DMV also ditched dial up and got on a very streamline system. But, looking around their “brick-n-mortar” operation in downtown Manhattan, I noticed that there weren’t a lot of other people “doing it in person” with me. The place was empty, with TONS of customer service representatives. I was told by the woman who helped me that nobody really comes in anymore (the folklore of yesteryear had scared everyone away).
So I thought. Imagine how much time I would save if I just went someplace in person, instead of it’s virtual equivalent online? What if I bought all of my clothes in stores again? What if I actually took out money with a teller rather than an ATM? I was shocked by a the realization that the digital world I had advocated for years was slowing me down. The incessant need to go through “virtual” red tape (setting up user names, remembering passwords for accounts, linking to Facebook, connecting with contacts, uploading .CSV files, downloading information, inputting credit card information, updating mailing addresses…) was catching up with the real world’s red tape.
What’s the moral of this story? How does it apply to you? Well, if you’re a business owner, the bottom line is that you need somebody on the phone – you need somebody at the front desk – you need SOMEBODY, to do it in person.
This is a simple customer service lesson. What all business owners must remember is that customer service is key. Especially in a globalized market, if your customer service shines, your business will shine. Provide options for customers to seek solutions. Nobody likes voicemail. And how hard would it be to hire somebody to answer the phone every so often, or man a desk? It’s a tax write-off (most of the time) and it boosts the economy.