Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Silver Lining

Yeah, so the economy sucks, and probably will for a little while. What could be good about that? Well, nothing is absolutely good about it, but there is at least one thing positive. What's that? Customer service. Overall, it's going to be better than it's been in a while. Why? More places will need your business to stay alive. And they'll realize what it took to get to being big or what it will take to stay alive more than ever.

I've already seen instances where companies are starting to do more for the customer. I think it will continue. There's the argument, though, that this kind of economy will only help the Wal-Mart and Home Depot's of the world to put even more of the smaller guys out of business. That's definitely possible, and quite sad, really. But the reality is that while we might think of "customer service" as someone with a smiling face, lots of product knowledge, and a willingness to help, that's not all it can be defined as. It can also be defined as putting a lot of stuff you need in one place with good prices and no salesmen annoying you to buy things you don't need. Big box stores aren't evil, they provide something that obviously a majority of shoppers want. And the reality is for most of what they sell, most of the people out there don't need any knowledgable help.

But for products where you can put a knowledgable salesperson to use, companies will start to do a better job of it. They'll have to, or they'll die quickly. Hopefully the economy rebounds before they die anyway.

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