Chapter 2 – The Shock and Awe Effect
Customer service comes in two major extremes. I call them SACS (Shock & Awe Customer Service) and SUCS (Shamefully Undelivered Customer Service). Most businesses fall somewhere in between. The less money you have to spend on advertising and marketing, the more you’d better deliver SACS.
Large wholesale corporations can get away with SUCS because they have the ability to deal in volume and consumers will put up with their near absence of customer service in exchange for a cheaper price. There’s not much we can do about that. After all, we trained them to treat us that way.
We’ve allowed ourselves to be lulled into the self service mindset by agreeing to do it in the first place. We pump our own gas, wash our own windshields, fix our own coffee, refill our own sodas, and carry our own groceries to the car. Why? Because we don’t expect and/or demand otherwise. We’ve been programmed that way.
I can remember the gasoline service station on the corner where I grew up in the 1950’s and 60’s. If you stopped there for gas, the owner came out wearing a big warm and fuzzy smile, pumped your gas, cleaned you windshield, raised the hood and checked the oil, radiator, belts and battery. He checked the tire pressure in all four tires. If they needed air, he put air in them. He took your money or credit card inside and brought your change back to you. If you had kids in the car, he might give each of them a lollipop.
He asked if there was anything else he could do for you. If not, he thanked you and asked you to “Please come back”. He then tipped his hat to you as you drove away.
How would you react if you pulled into a gas station today and got that kind of treatment? Do you think you would want to go back and buy more gas there? I know I would. And I would imagine you would too. So would most everyone else!
But today it’s a different world. It’s a different mindset. Today’s typical businessman or woman can spew out volumes of reasons why they could never offer such a level of customer service in any way, shape, form, or fashion. It simply wouldn’t work. Not for a minute.
Believe me— I talk with them every day—I’ve heard it a thousand times.
And the reason they think that way is because they look around and don’t see any of their competitors doing it, and so they think they can’t—or shouldn’t—do it either.
We live in a society of what could be described as business incest. We look around and see what everyone else is doing and we do it too, thinking it must be right. The sad thing is, over 90% of all businesses you see out there are in the process of going broke. Some of them know what is happening to them and some don’t. Nevertheless, it is a FACT!
The purpose of this book is to make you take a long hard look around. If you are a small business owner, you need to look at how you and your employees treat your customers and clients. If you are a consumer, you need to look at how business owners and their employees treat YOU!
SACS should not just be expected—it should be demanded—by us all. If we spend our money on a good or service, we should insist on being treated well. If we receive SUCS, we need to fire somebody’s ass.
And the sooner the better!