By Robert J. Tamasy
如果你是顧客，你會怎麼做？ 大幅度的縮減或是改變也許是必要的，但是如果是受影響的是你，你會有甚麼感受？又會如何反應？有其他的替代方案嗎？「你們願意人怎樣待你們，你們也要怎樣待人。(路加福音 6章31節).」
勞勃．泰默西是領袖資產協會的傳播部副部長，這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。他寫過一本書「最佳狀態的商業：箴言給今日職場的歷久彌新智慧」（Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace）；他也與David A. Stoddard合著一本書「導師之心」（The Heart of Mentoring）
你是否有因為公司或是其他機構的重大改變，造成你的不方便或是困擾的經驗？如果有，請分享你遇到的狀況以及當時你是如何回應的？ 當你要做一些決定可能對顧客有負面影響時，你會用甚麼方法做決定以及完成它？ 「你要詳細知道你羊群的景況」和做決定之間有甚麼關係？尤其是當改變不容易被接受或是可引起強烈反對的時候？ 在你過去的經驗當中，利潤在決策的過程當中有多重要？當貪心和野心希望能多賺錢成為主要的動機時，是否有其他的原因可以影響決策？
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF CUSTOMER SERVICE?
By Robert J. Tamasy
Recently I was among nearly 500 people affected when a local medical facility decided to close a specialized care center that had served our area for 15 years. The patients, many of whom had been going to the center for years (10, in my case), were understandably disappointed and upset. “Irate” was a better description for some of them.
We all were encouraged to transfer to a new, state-of-the-art, much larger facility operated by the healthcare organization in another part of the city. For many, however, that meant an additional drive of 20-30 minutes each way, depending on traffic, and having to deal with less than ideal parking accommodations at the site. Considering many of the patients are elderly and not very mobile, or recovering from recent major surgery, moving to the new center was not an appealing option.
To justify their decision, the healthcare officials used terms such as “full utilization of a newer facility,” “advanced equipment and supportive technology,” “continuous improvement model,” “resources allocated for optimum service,” and “high rankings in key metrics.” Terminology like this might warm the hearts of corporate executives, number crunchers and stakeholders, but not the patients living in my area. They could not help but feel forsaken. Nowhere did the officials state the decision had been formulated with the best interests of the patients – the customers – being foremost in their concerns.
So, what is the value of customer service? Can – or should – business economics and efficiencies always justify reducing or making dramatic changes to established services? Throughout my working career, I have experienced decisions of this type on numerous occasions. They are never easy. Sometimes they are justified and unavoidable; cuts may be necessary to ensure survival. At other times, however, decisions justified by dollars and cents might make good sense fiscally, but could be detrimental to long-term relationships with customers.
If profits are paramount, customers and their interests can easily be discounted. But if disgruntled customers vote with their dollars and go elsewhere for services and products, profit-based decisions can lead to calamity. The Bible suggests how to weigh decisions between profits and people:
Customers are the lifeblood of any business. Balance decisions by awareness of the needs and concerns of customers who will be affected. “Be sure to know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds…the lambs will provide you with clothing and the goats with the price of a field. You will have plenty of goats” milk to feed you and your family…” (Proverbs 27:23-27).
What would you do if you were them? Substantial cuts or changes in services may be necessary, but if you were the customer affected, how would you feel and react? Might there be any more acceptable alternatives? “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31).
Is greed the primary motive? Profits serve as rewards; they also can be reinvested for a company”s growth. However, it”s important to remember the value of focusing on others. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit…look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
© 2017. Robert J. Tamasy has written Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace; Tufting Legacies; coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring, and edited numerous other books, including Advancing Through Adversity by Mike Landry. Bob”s website is www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com, and his biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.
Have you ever been affected by a major change instituted by a business or organization that caused you inconvenience, or even hardship? If so, what were the circumstances – and how did you respond to the decisions made? How would you approach reaching a decision – and then implementing it – that you knew would have a negative impact on people within your organization, or its customers? What does “knowing the condition of your flocks” have to do with these kinds of decisions, where changes are not eagerly received – even strongly opposed by those involved? In your experience, how important are profits in the decision-making process? When greed and the desire to make more money are primary motivating factors, what – if anything – can be done to influence decisions that are reached?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about principles it presents, consider the following passages: Matthew 10:45; Luke 22:27; Romans 12:10; Ephesians 5:21; Philippians 2:7