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On Customers and Customer Service

Posted on 2015-04-29 15:08:02

In 1941 the magazine “Printers’ Ink: A Journal for Advertisers” published an interview with Kenneth B. Elliott who was the Vice President in Charge of Sales for The Studebaker Corporation. Elliott ended the interview by stating the following set of five principles. I stumbled on the quote by accident and it struck me as very much in line with what we strive for here at CareTech so I'd like to share.

The quote:

"It is, of course, not possible to state with any practical exactitude what the customer is. But there are several common denominators to be found when we consider the customer in terms of what he is not. These things, I think, are fundamental to intelligent customer relationship and, it may be added, most of them apply pretty well to the vast majority of prospects as well.

1. The customer is not dependent upon us—we are dependent upon him.

2. The customer is not an interruption of our work—he is the purpose of it.

3. The customer is not a rank outsider to our business—he is a part of it.

4. The customer is not a statistic—he is a flesh-and-blood human being completely equipped with biases, prejudices, emotions, pulse, blood chemistry and possibly a deficiency of certain vitamins.

5. The customer is not someone to argue with or match wits against—he is a person who brings us his wants. If we have sufficient imagination we will endeavor to handle them profitably to him and to ourselves."

--Kenneth B. Elliott in Printers’ Ink: A Journal for Advertisers

Just brilliant! Particularly the last point. When I think of all of the times that I have received excellent customer service it has been because the business representative approached me and the situation with a positive and grateful attitude, a desire to really understand, and the will and imagination to find a solution.

This goes beyond fixing machines. It takes work, effort, and patience but we are not just machine fixers. We are a service business and excellent service is our goal.

If you have given us an opportunity in the past to serve you, please know that we are grateful to you for the opportunity. We hope that we were able to meet and hopefully exceed your expectations.

And if you have not used us yet, please keep us in mind for next time.