Monday, January 14, 2008

More Money = Better Service

I don't think anyone would argue this statement but I'm not sure how I feel about the "You get what you pay for" mentality and way of life Americans have. I agree that should be true for product but does service have to be a product as well? Good service is something that until you have experienced it, you may not know it even exists. When sitting at most pizza places, for example, the service goes like this. At best, its acceptable and meets expectation. However, you often find yourself with an empty glass, you may or may not have silverware and to ask for extra napkins makes no sense given that you could run the nearby convenience store and get them faster yourself. And to request a condiment to accompany the meal - don't even get me started! Most people will complain about these things but never speak up because after all, the meal was cheap and you get what you pay for. What?!? You paid for a cheap meal and that's what you got. You did not pay any less for the service and that's the problem. I believe this is a training issue that management should be held accountable for. Despite pay scales, it takes no less effort to give bad service versus good and if anything, a waiter or waitress can expect better tips or more pay for the latter. So why aren't they trained in this way and expected to give the best service? What we are in fact settling for is that the higher a person is on the economic scale is the better that they should be treated. This can't be right. People are said to be equal but that's obviously not true. If you don't believe that, think about your last experience at Wal-Mart or Family Dollar. For 9 out of 10, you either don't remember the service at all or it was not a pleasant experience in regards to the service. Now, have you walked through Williams Sonoma or Coldwater Creek lately? Or into a boutique in New York or LA? If you are used to department stores, it may be a culture shock. Everyone is ready and more than willing to greet and assist you, even before the purchase is final but still after. Its an experience everyone should have, whether you can afford a transaction or not. Try it sometime and then tell me that my perception of this is inaccurate and that the same service can be found at the local Dollar General! We should not settle for less than good service, no matter how much we're spending. No one would say they have worked any less for their $6 per hour than the person who worked for 5 times that so why are we ok with being treated as less?