Monday, December 6, 2010

And in a related story.........

Apparently, the "we need to improve customer service!" cry is all the rage with consulting groups. From the Valley Morning Star, comes the following story on San Benito's falling tax revenues due to, you've guessed it, poor customer service.
SAN BENITO — A new city program that began this past week offers local businesses tips to improve customer service as part of a campaign to boost sales tax revenue amid a financial crunch.
Consultants told a small group of business owners in a meeting last week that customer service is a key to growing their businesses.
The city’s Economic Development Corporation presented the seminar as part of its new $55,000, eight-month program aimed at luring more customers to local businesses, said Alma Puente Colleli, the agency’s director (I wonder how much she gets paid). The agency will hold monthly workshops aimed at helping businesses boost profits as part of the program that offers prizes to customers who shop in San Benito, she said.
“By increasing the level of customer service in San Benito, we could set our businesses apart and give them that competitive edge,” she said after the seminar at City Hall.
Many local businesses need to improve their customer service, said Paula Henken, a co-owner of Heartfelt Gifts.“That’s what many businesses lack the most in,” said Henken, who moved here from South Carolina. “Technology is taking away the one-one interaction with customers. I was raised on Southern hospitality. In my generation, we’re used to that.”
Blanquita Rodriguez said many employees need to learn how to handle customers.
“A lot of businesses don’t know how to treat people,” said Rodriguez, owner of Blanquita’s Restaurant. “It starts with a greeting. The communication is eye-to-eye, giving hugs and shaking hands.”
City officials are counting on the program to boost sales tax revenues that plunged to their lowest levels in about five years, leading city commissioners to slash spending to balance a $9.4 million general fund budget.
Bad customer service, falling revenues, highly-paid city adminstrator contracting consultants to try to drive tax revenues up........sounds strangely familiar. This story could have come out of our own LMT.

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