Monday, April 18, 2011

Service: Part One

So I'm checking out colleges with my teenage daughter and we hear this from one of the school's staff as we're standing around waiting to be received: "I'm glad the tours are dying down, we hardly had any to do today." Not a good tone to set for an hour tour of college. Secondly, it was raining outside, a downpour. I notice there were golf carts outside the door and asked if we could use them to shelter us from the weather. The answer: "No, they don't let us do that."

So, we quickly run around outside in the rain looking at the exterior of numerous buildings and then get back to the cafeteria in time to have us handed brochures and tuition information. We say good bye...forever.

My mind raced to ask how often have I ever treated a prospective client that way? I'm sure I have. It's very efficient to not utilize a golf cart (saves energy) and it's efficient to use young, inexperienced clerical folk to conduct the tours (cheap, won't waste the time of the top people), but it's clearly not effective (who would fall in love with a school after this experience?).

Lousy service can work--if you have a captive, desperate audience with no other options.

Barry LaBov
LaBov & Beyond