The Power of Communication

Tealplanet Your work can be a force for great good or great evil. You yourselves know the dangers, as well as the splendid opportunities open to you. Communication products can be works of great beauty, revealing what is noble and uplifting in humanity and promoting what is just and fair and true. On the other hand communications can appeal to and promote what is debased in people … All the media of popular culture which you represent can build or destroy, uplift or cast down. You have untold possibilities for good, ominous possibilities for destruction. It is the difference between death and life – the death or life of the spirit. And it is a matter of choice. The challenge of Moses to the people of Israel is applicable to all of us today: "I set before you life and death.... Choose life" (Dt 30:19).   Pope John Paul II

Address to 1,600 policy makers in television, radio, motion pictures and the print media – Registry Hotel, Los Angeles, September 15, 1987

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What message does the quality of your customer service send?

The past few weeks have included a number of frustrating experiences in businesses where I am a frequent customer – the pharmacy, the Mike-wilson-188132supermarket, the bank, and in other local stores which I visit rarely, but have now crossed off my list entirely, including two local fast food establishments.

The problem in all cases was horrendous customer service – ranging from staff being snarky, impatient, disrespectful, engaged in conversation with other staff instead of waiting on customers, texting while waiting on me, the use of profanity by employees while in earshot of customers, having a lack of information about products they were selling or promoting or giving me incorrect information which ultimately cost me time and money.

In one instance the manager admitted the problem was a lack of adequate staff training because the store recently underwent a major managerial change and reduction in staff which necessitated hiring a good number of employees quickly and getting them to work as soon as possible.

I appreciated his acknowledgment of the problem and his plan to fix it.

However, with the extent of such poor customer service across so many venues I believe the problem is more one of a basic lack of civility, manners and serious work ethic among potential employees before they are even hired.

Employers today have a challenge when it comes to customer service training, but it’s a challenge that must be met if they don’t want their businesses, and their revenues, to suffer.

Employers must ask themselves, “What kind of message am I sending to my customers about the company’s mission and vision, and the importance of our customers in both?"

Photo by Mike Wilson on Unsplash