Posted by Heather Brautman on Mon, Nov 11, 2013 @ 12:58 PM
With Veterans Day in mind, we at CrossCheck started thinking about the idea of service, and what it means to us.
Those of us not in the military have an entirely different image of what serving can mean, so we decided to talk to some of our merchants about service, and how they are working service into their daily business routines.
“It’s all about protecting the customer,” said one building supply owner. Protection seemed incongruent, so we pressed for a little more information. “Our industry is all about shelter, if you think about it. We’re not the ones you buy houses from, but we contribute to building the houses. So it’s of utmost importance to us that we serve customers by protecting them from issues like hazardous materials, faulty construction, and unnecessary costs.”
The idea of serving as a badge of honor was also echoed by some auto dealers we talked to. “We know it’s no secret that auto dealers have quite a shaky reputation,” mentioned one dealership general manager. “So we make it a practice to serve our customers with integrity. There’s no bait and switch, we provide clear and easy to understand quotes and car histories, we’re open about pricing, and we go as slow as the customer needs when we’re going over finance and insurance options.”
Office managers in many of the country’s 100,000 plus auto aftermarket and repair shops use our multiple check program, noting that the way they serve is essential to the nation’s future by keeping its workers moving. “We have to make auto repair accessible and available to everyone who needs it,” says one auto repair shop worker. “We do this by working with consumers on payment options so that they’re not overwhelmed. We want them focusing on their work and families so that they can then be successful after they leave our shop and attack the day.”
It may seem like the only relation retail stores have to Veterans Day are the sales, screaming signs, and rock-bottom pricing they institute around the holiday, but store owners are also taking up the call to serve. “Without customers, we’re nothing,” says one franchise owner. “Buyers have the ultimate power. Not only can they take their money and go elsewhere, but they can go online, auction sites, basically, anywhere else. So we need to step up and make them feel welcome and appreciated.” Ways that some of our retail stores are honing their service skills are by implementing more employee training, adding frequent buyer programs, and making managers more available to customers.
We’ve even heard positive changes toward higher service culture from our medical office customers. Physicians and dental offices are telling us that they’re trying to practice more patient-centered caring, from follow-up calls to more comfortable treatment rooms, with Pandora radio and soothing decorations. Our veterinarians have told us they’re helping customers by offering one-stop shopping with medicines and upscale foods available right in the office waiting rooms, as well as referral walls where pet parents can find suggestions for pet sitters, day care, and more.
Getting through the day can be a battlefield, whether you’re truly on one or just pounding the corporate pavement. We’re excited to see this industry-blind trend of adopting service as a major mission, and we hope to see it continue. Happy Veterans Day!
How about you? How do you serve others in your day-to-day pursuits? Let us know by commenting below.