Customer Service – On A Lone Desert Highway
We’ve all heard stories of motorists who come across a gas station in the middle of nowhere. These gas stations have very few convenience items and charge a great deal for both their fuel as well foodstuffs they may have available. When viewing movies these locations have absolutely no other buildings around them and typically feature two gentlemen tipping back in a chair watching sparse traffic come and go. When we view this scenario on television these individuals seem to take pleasure in the discomfort their customers express in having to pay outrageous prices for items they may need. This scenario is simply a highly identifiable picture of the law of supply and demand. Demand is high and supplies are low so the prevailing attitude is one of take it or leave it. Two things can happen in a situation where demand is high.
1. The price will be higher than you may believe the product to be worth.
2. Customer service may be less friendly than you expect. The reason some businesses may have felt they could act this way is simply because their customers had no reasonable choice but to do business with them. When small towns only had one choice for a commodity that commodity wound up costing more than it might in a larger city with multiple stores. There are some online businesses that still express themselves in a way that cause customers to believe they don’t hold customer service in very high regard. The problem with this mentality is that an online store bears no resemblance to a roadside gas station in the middle of the desert. An online store is more like a newspaper stand in the middle of New York. If a customer doesn’t like your attitude they can head on to the next stand to pick up the latest news. Knowing this helps clarify that exceptional customer service should be a hallmark of every online business. In the end, what leverage do you have when providing poor service? What reasoning is solid enough to indicate it is OK to treat your customers less than the best? Do they have another choice? It might be mildly amusing to look at old movies with a desert in the background and two older guys wondering which vehicles failed to fill up in the last big town. However, when the supply is high (as it is on the Internet) there can be no excuses for price gouging or inferior customer service. You don’t have to wonder how to treat a customer if you treat every customer as if they are your best customer.
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