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Let's put the "serve" back into custsomer service!

Main Meridian Homes for Sale

When disecting the term "customer service" it is amazing what I learned.

I have just spent way too much of my time dealing with a dozen different people at Vonage (voice over internet phone service) trying to straighten out my account with them and learned a lot about "what NOT to do" as a result! I had lots of time to think and jot down notes of my frustration while I was on hold and being transferred from one "customer service" rep to another, each time having to tell them my account number, situation, etc., only to be transferred again.

I think I need to go edit the dictionary and WIKIPEDIA to change the definition of "infinity" = "the number of steps it takes to deal with "customer service" thanks to outsourcing to third world countries"!

Here is Jim Paulson's analysis of Customer Service


  1. The first word should speak for itself because without a "customer" the company would be out of business!;
  2. The next word is more complex. If you analyze " service", you will notice the word "serve" is made up of the letters at the beginning and the end of that word. Is that a coincidence?
  3. What are those two extra letters in the middle of "serve"? They are serv"IC"e; which if you talk to any teenager, they will tell you that "IC" really means "I see" which is a term used by many psychologists as they get you to describe your feelings so they can empathize and understand you to get to the root of your problems/issues.

Even though I just made up the little mantra about customer service, I will click the little button to copyright it since I think there is a lot of truth in it.It is important for each of us to remember why we get paid for what we do and how we should be measured by our successes.

For example, while attending BSU, I paid my way thanks to tending bar and waiting tables. I realized different people came for different reasons (business meetings, dates, on vacation, quality of food, experience, etc.) so I treated each group uniquely. Most of my peers just perceived their job to take and deliver orders. Since you only had a certain number of tables per night, I figured out how to maximize each groups experience in hopes of increasing my tips. I would bet that if you asked your next waiter/waitress what "TIP" stands for, they would be at a complete loss even thought that is what they are working for. FYI, it stands for "To Insure Promptness - TIP". That process actually started when affluent people would pay "upfront" to receive a preferred table or level of service. It actually makes more sense then the current system where you might pay a "reward" for service inside of a tip or worse yet, they might "automatically" add 15% to the entire bill and take away for the incentive to offer great "customer service".

If companies like Wal-mart understood this concept, they would think twice about making all of their employees wear a blue vest saying "Can I help you?" (or whatever it says) even if that employee doesn't speak English! Why not have those employees' vests say the same thing in what ever language they do speak instead? If you only spoke Spanish, wouldn't it be nice at Wal-mart to look for the guy that says he can help me in "Spanish"; or Bosnian, or ...?

Even though this topic isn't directly tied to Ada County Real Estate, we should all be aware of the impact of our actions and how they will be perceived by current and potential clients. For example, I recognize that not all my real estate clients treat communication the same way, and some still want me to come to their house to discuss things while others prefer an email or a text message. Each of them is right because they are my clients I need to listen to their definition of "service" and make sure I live up to that expectation! Lets put the "serve" back in "customer service"!

Posted by Jim Paulson at 8/6/2008 10:36:00 PM

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