A Richer Understanding: Making Dollars and Sense

I’m generally conscious of the service I receive while out; restaurants, retail stores, the gym and the grocery store to name a few of the places I frequent. No matter what environment I’m in, I often observe how the fast-food worker, bus driver, nurse or anyone providing a service and/or selling a product interacts with me and other consumers. Some do it well and are consistent, while others fail at simply offering a salutation or a well wish.

My personal vexations are acknowledgment and appreciation; two very important customer service skills that every employee should master if they are in a customer facing environment. I’ve had a number of bad experiences where rather than asking for a manager to register a complaint, I simply chose not to return. A recent negative experience sparked a conversation with peers where they shared their point of view, and it led to a debate about (1) raising the minimum wage above the current rate and (2) if $12-$15 per hour is warranted for every industry.

“Don’t give advice, suggest options.”

The conversation shifted in and out of points and counterpoints.

Society Socks – Good Customer Service

Point — it could hurt low skilled workers. Counterpoint — workers should look to improve their skill set, whether it is helping customers, food preparation, or other vocational training. Point — wages for jobs that require advanced training should not be on par with one that requires less sophisticated skills. Counterpoint — workers will get left behind by those willing to invest in improving their skills.

The debate seems to be part of a larger conversation about how technology is integrating more and more into our lives. Banks use mobile image depositing, reducing the need for banking centers and tellers. Casual theme restaurants and fast food chains are using electronic keypads for order entry, reducing the need for servers and cashiers.

I believe we all agree, no matter what side of the debate you’re on, everyone desires an adequate, livable and respectable wage for employment offered, business services offered or art created.

I Am.

Brian Tramuel
 

Brian Tramuel is a regular contributor and helms the 'A Richer Understanding' series. He lives with his wife Michelle, their children Geneva and Brian, and their Cocker Spaniel Maestro in Charlotte, NC. They, along with his two older children from a previous marriage, Davina and Aaron, provide a constant source of inspiration. Aaron lives, works and plays in Charlotte and Davina lives, works and plays in Roanoke, VA.

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