Service Begins as an AttitudeBy Dennis Vander Molen
Article Date: 08-01-2010
Copyright(C) 2010 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.
Whether in business or life, take time to consider the benefits that multiply
from serving others.
One of the first real jobs I had in early adulthood was being a field service representative. The job required travel, accomplishing tasks, taking orders, and then delivery. Being single, off the farm, and ready for the adventure, the job was more than this guy could ever imagine growing up. Freedom to work, offer a service, and establish loyal customers all over the country gave a special sense of pride and commitment to my work and caused me to give that little something extra anytime the opportunity presented itself.
Do you ever consider how our industry differentiates itself in its service? What about our own businesses? Oftentimes we are our own worst enemy, thinking that our service is second to none. If that is the truth, why are there so many other options? These options may include our brand competitors, independent service people, or customers with service technicians who work on the machines we sold them.
Why is it that our customers work so hard to not do business with us after the warranty runs out? Have our economic challenges made it even harder for our customers to do business with us? Have we spent so much in our facilities that we have separated ourselves from our customers? We all know too well that there are no easy answers in retaining the aftermarket product support business we all desire to have. Those will-fitters of the day have made a pretty good living off the equipment we sell.
Knowing today that much of the differentiator is price, how can we survive and then thrive through these times? What will we become if our service fails to cement our relationship with our customers? Perhaps our industry is going to have to learn to differentiate itself in serving the needs of our communities and nation.
We are all proud of our country, where many of our young men and women have served sacrificially. There are many who are serving our country in all parts of the globe – serving in those areas that go above and beyond themselves. Just recently, we all celebrated Independence Day. We have so much to be thankful for in the United States and Canada. There are many of us who have a faith that encourages service for a higher purpose, a purpose and calling that motivates us to respond with excellence. It would be a shame if we allow our “entitlement” culture to forget what it means to serve, rather than to merely be served.
In this discussion about serving, I would be remiss in not recognizing those listed in the left hand column of this page. These people are yourservice providers. They all serve your association in a manner that goes beyond themselves. Our industry needs them, and it is important that they hear from you about what is important as AED looks to differentiate itself and seeks to add value to your businesses locally. These men and women articulate ideas that are relevant to their own areas and add value to the greater good. All these members go beyond the call of duty in their service and are committed to at least three years in their respective chairs. Each of our board members delivers value beyond themselves. By the time this editorial hits the mail, the AED Board will have just concluded its summer meeting in Chicago. But please know that at any time and in any place, any feedback is important when it comes from you, the members of AED.
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