A Service-Driven Economy

Lehman Brothers went bankrupt on Monday, September 15. On Sunday, September 14, Merrill Lynch agreed to sell itself to Bank of America to stave off the same fate. To say the least, the economy is in a bit of a crisis. With my hard-earned money, I'm tempted to spend at the vendor or company that offers the lowest price for comparable products or services. But then I start thinking about what this price driven economy really costs us. The answer? A basic human right and expectation ó to be treated with dignity and respect.

I think we'd be collectively happier as a nation if we chose to spend at the places committed to customer service. I know once I made the decision to only deal with places that treated me like a person instead of a number, I felt...more free. Operating in my own personal service-based economy, I am happier and less stressed. And, I'm not paying that much (if any) more for being treated with the respect a customer deserves. I'm loving it.

I used to be a United Airlines Mileage Plus account holder. After several bad experiences, I gave up this "privilege" and now, when I can, I only fly Southwest Airlines. Their customer service is outstanding. I feel good when I get on their plane, I feel better after I leave because of their in-flight experience. And I'm noticing that I'm looking for more of that feeling when I'm doing my spending. I switched drycleaners recently because of poor customer service encounter. And I find myself becoming extremely loyal to those national and local establishments that have consistently exceeded my customer service expectations. Some places I love? Nordstrom's; Morton's, The Steakhouse; the Loews Hotel chain; Direct TV; and Thrifty Car Rental.

I know I'm not the only one seeking out the best in service; companies that show consistent strength and growth are traditionally exemplary service companies. It is a great time to be a great service provider or a customer craving good service. The demand for old-fashioned respect, courtesy, and going "above and beyond" is at a high and there are companies out there that provide this experience. Join the service-driven economic revolution...and tell me about it.

  • Have you switched stores or companies because of a bad service experience?
  • Have you had an extremely good (or bad) experience recently?
  • How do you feel about a service-driven economy?

I want to know! Post your responses. Who knows? As more folks post, this may be a good source of information as you are researching service providers.