So, I am in a class that talks about customer service. It claims that customers need servicing, yet I remain unconvinced. Maybe I want no customers? Maybe they want no servicing? Maybe the services want no customers and no originator? Maybe it is all a conspiracy man? Regardless. I wrote things… Poorly. Here they are.
Pausing to allow others to talk is a golden opportunity to discover other goods and services you can provide them. Doing home-health care work the majority of new patients I saw were people who had respiratory problems. Many had been patients before and would ask about other services and equipment we offered, which often resulted in us contacting their doctor and getting a prescription to provide the additional service they needed. Generally this wasn’t a hard or expensive thing, but it was a way to obtain a little more loyalty.
When I was on-call at this company I learned that if my pager went off while I was talking with a patient it made them really happy (gave them validation) if I would silence the pager and ask them to continue. My visit usually meant multiple trips out to my van for supplies and equipment and I would then call the caller back. These calls were generally pretty short, but it didn’t interrupt the person I was with at that moment. However, on the other hand, many of the people we dealt with had Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and would restate themselves over and over if you let them. I would usually let them do this a bit and then ask a question to steer the training back on track. Rarely did I bulldoze them back onto track, as, if I felt I needed to do so, they were ready to move into a care facility or needed someone there to assist them in the operation of their equipment.
So, I felt that I spent a lot of my writing time in this class telling stories about jobs I’ve had. It was super easy and let me get away with less critical thinking. But it was probably part of the reason I found the last part so difficult. This is the sort of knowledge that is hard to remember five minutes after you read it.
“Those who enter to buy, support me. Those who come to flatter, please me. Those who complain, teach me how I may please others so that more will come. Those only hurt me who are displeased but do not complain. They refuse me permission to correct my errors and thus improve my service.”
-Retail Pioneer Marshall Field
Regarding this quote from Mr Marshall Field I find that I agree with it. It is an interesting quote in that it seems so obvious upon reflection, but it didn’t occur to me naturally. That is part of the point of accepting criticism, I think. Things that are helpful, and maybe correct, often don’t come naturally.
It is part of the benefits of communication in general, I get to benefit from more than my own experience.
The limits of the quote are interesting to consider in that it applies to a great many places other than business. Because of my experiences with some previous employers I tend to be very jaded about the conduct of companies in general. This makes me extremely reluctant to accept criticism. But I think its time to be a bit better.
However, there is also the flip side where people just want to complain sometimes no matter their treatment. The trouble arises when we ask what the ratio is. Its probably a better bet to just go ahead and listen anyway.
I liked that part about the difference between the customer is always right and the win, win philosophies. It parallels a philosophy class I took a while ago. One of the philosophers argued you should only be generous with givers. Meaning I have to benefit too.
I once worked for a company that routinely lost money on individual pieces of equipment to keep the doctor offices that generated the work happy and in the habit of using us. We made a lot of money in the long run by doing so. They tended to send us the more lucrative setups because they liked us. Good practice, I think.
So, I felt that this particular one was my very best one. I liked how often I used commas. There’s an important balance to strike. The part about wanting situations to all be win-win was a good one. I certainly wasn’t saying things the long way to make it seem like I was trying to get extra length without extra thought. I also liked how short the chapters were. However, I still found that I had to use a gigantic dose of caffeine to get myself to focus on the material. ADHD makes it hard to jump through hoops.
Were I to have a restaurant I would pattern it off the Barbecue Joints I used to go to in South Texas. In that area, it is common for a barbecue place to have a covered pavilion with open sides without AC, but lots of ceiling fans going to keep the heat down a bit. It smells like the smoke used to cook the meat because they have a giant brick smoker running down the center of the building. The whole place smells like hot fat and hickory, like good barbecue is supposed to smell like. You order your meat by weight, just like at the deli counter, and you order the sides by the cup. They give you all the Wonder Bread you like to make sandwiches out of the meat and put big bottles of their home-made sauce on the tables. They have pickles and onions out to partner with the meat. Everything shows a disregard for etiquette and class. The sides are solid, but not extravagant. You eat out of the cases that soda is shipped in with butcher paper on the bottom. The point of a place like this is strictly the appreciation of meat. And that is where your money goes, and the reason you keep going back. Oh the meat!
The meat is moist, but not chewy. South Texas style barbecue says meat should be able to stand on its own, so it is never cooked in a sauce. It is smoky and spicy and savory. The brisket is one of the worst cuts on the cow, but a good rub down with spices and a long, slow smoking give it a wondrous palette of flavors. The fat in the meat is all rendered out into simple juiciness. When you bite into it the incredible richness floods your mouth. The value is in the meat alone. Paradoxically, the shabbiness of the building (its okay, but nothing nice), together with the stripped down style communicate their confidence about the quality of the food. There is nothing else that they use to draw you in.
I would change it up a bit. I would build a trailer that houses all of my equipment to cook on. And instead of a barbecue joint I would run a nomad steakhouse. I would set up for the weekend a farmers market or something like it. I would use social media to communicate where I’ll be for that particular weekend. If I could find a good piece of land for cheap enough I might set up permanently. I am an excellent griller and would focus on a menu that is all cookable on the grill except for the salads. Meat, sides, desert would all be grilled. The building would be a couple of old army tents, and I would retrofit them so I could have a real door and AC/heat (I do live in a high desert after all). I would serve the food on trays covered with butcher paper. Instead of the deli counter style of serving I would do a more traditional sit-down restaurant style of ordering and serving. Steaks take a minute, so I’d want my guests to be comfortable while it is prepared. There would be a plate of starters provided at no charge consisting of a big chunk of grilled pineapple, a half-loaf of home-made sourdough bread and my specialty cheesy-pepper spread to smear on top of it. The menu would consist of no more than ten items. Almost all of my costs would be in the best meat I can find. I’ll buy the cows myself at auction, or hire an agent to hunt down the best animals to serve my guests. I want to blow their mind’s up through sensory overload in their mouth. I would also serve roasted chickens and turkeys. For sides I’d keep it pretty simple with stir-fried veggies, limey-rice, and herb-y potatoes. I would have a strict policy of friendliness and would give anyone who isn’t happy with their food another meal at no charge. The deserts would be things like grilled fruit with ice-cream (which I may make in-house), fresh fruit pies (I make amazing crusts), or local berries and cream. I would require myself to go talk to my guests a little to make sure it was good and was timely. I would also encourage people to contribute to the local food-bank on their receipt, right alongside the line for the tip. I would also encourage people to personalize their dish, saying, “just ask, if I’ve got it, I’ll grill it.”
So this one was long. Really long. I had a hard time reading it, and it was about one of my very most favoritest things. Meat. I’ve actually got a half-formed idea on a business that is loosely this. But I think I forgot what the assignment was supposed to be about while I was writing this. You can sort of tell that I didn’t have anything to say. Again, it showed that I was just jumping hoops.