Is Superior Service Dead?
I found myself asking this scary question just last night. As a parent of two young kids, I took what has become a routine trip to the store after my wife and I put the kids to bed. After I finished grabbing a few necessities for the next couple of days, I approached the front of the store. There, I noticed a line of 3-4 other shoppers behind the only checkout lane open, and it was a “self-checkout” kiosk at that. I was surprised to see this at the not-so-late hour of 8:30 pm.
This store (you probably know the one – big red sign and a little dog named Bullseye as the mascot) that once touted itself as the higher end, higher service option to their “superstore” competition, has joined the ranks of those that have traded the value of friendly faces and a “how can I help” attitude, for the sake of competitive pricing. I watched the frustration build with a couple other shoppers, one of which said they were “not good with technology”. As the lone associate scrambled back and forth from kiosk to kiosk I asked myself…. Have we really come to this? Where does it go from here? Does no one value superior service anymore?
I say no way!
This concept is impossible for me to believe. As my career has advanced at GreatAmerica, one of the foundational blocks our company was built on has never wavered, superior service. Our founder, Tony Golobic, believed he could build a company based on providing superior service. Building on that belief, GreatAmerica has achieved milestones many thought were impossible. Today, Tony still believes if we continue to strive for best-in-class service to all those we interact with, we will one day be a company without competition. After reflecting back on last night’s experience, I can see why.
Companies like Target, who once strived for superior service, have given in to the pressures of their competitors in a race to the bottom.
In this changing consumer world, do not doubt for a minute that each of your clients still values superior service – even if they can’t find it grocery shopping. As your customers continue to acquire assets and technology with an As-A-Service model, keep in mind service is in the title. Don’t compromise your excellent service by engaging in a price war with your competitors.
As I drove home from the store last night I contemplated my shopping alternatives. What other store could I go to for my routine trips? Can you afford to have your customers contemplate other options?
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