My friend, Howard Beckham, responded to last week’s video on customer service at Starbucks with the following comment. I feel if all of us would adopt his attitude we would see much happier customers. Thank you Howard.
“Many years ago as an 18 year old working at J.C. Penney Co. I began to understand the real importance of customer service. It dawned on me one day that it really wasn’t Penney’s that paid me, it was the customers I was helping who purchased items from me at Penney’s that I was “really” working for. I used to go out of my way to be helpful on the sales floor no matter what department they put me in. (I did find it a bit awkward once when a floor manager with a sense of humor assigned me to ladies intimate apparel one evening).
When I later moved to selling photocopiers form several years on commission I really learned who my “real” boss was….my customers. When they bought from me I got paid. (how simple is that to figure out?) And who made sure the customers who bought from me here taken care of properly when they had a service issue, you can bet who the customer frequently called first.
When I returned to the funeral business over a decade ago now, this time as a licensed funeral director, I remembered the lessons I had learned about customer service and endeavored (even though at times I felt like I was pushing a boulder uphill) to be an example to others of a positive attitude and selfless service. I can see the difference it has had on many people I am around. I might be making some small positive difference.
In the Scriptures we learn so many great things….especially about service to others. Three concepts ring in my ears most every day.
1. You receive no witness until after a trial of your faith.
2. Sometime you just have to press on, enduring until the end with faith.
3 When you are in the service of others, it is the same as if you are serving The Master.
We are in a service business way beyond what any other service businesses even contemplate. What we do day in and day out is actually important. We need to remember that and do it well.
Howard Beckham is a practicing funeral director in Florida. He is currently president – elect of the Independent Funeral Directors of Florida.