Trenda Rusher is PURE Michigan. Born, raised and schooled here, she is Executive Director of the Washtenaw County Michigan Works!/Workforce Development and Community Action Boards and serves as a Washtenaw County Department Head for ETCS. Trenda will be writing about poverty, literacy, rethinking business/customer service and the need for better public service.
Post No 3: Rethinking Customer Services In The Public Or Private Sector
Is 24-7 a good idea for most businesses? The 21st century and technology is moving toward making us all think that accessing every service 24-7 is more convenient and just tends to makes a lot of sense.
We want everything, and we want it now! And why can’t we have it? And why can’t we have it now? We can access our bank accounts, pay bills, and apply for various licenses. Fire and Police and Hospitals are the longstanding tradition services opened 24-7. When it comes to food, MacDonald’s DRIVE THRUs have been open 24-7 for several years. And whaddyaknow, Diddy just said Burger King will stay open ‘til midnight nationwide! That’s creeping close to 24-7.
But is 24-7 creeping into other fields, and should it?
Good customer service would say YES. Good services meet customer’s needs and demands. Customer needs exceeded the traditional "9-5" work day years ago. Then we saw office hours change to as early as 8:00 am or 8:30am with extended hours to 6pm.
In my own County Department, ETCS, the County’s Workforce Development and Community Services Agency, we responded to customer demand several years ago with extended hours on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at our Michigan Works Service Center until 7pm to accommodate those who need to visit us after they got off of work at 5pm.
At a time when most municipalities across the nation are moving to a four (4) day work week, customer demand is moving toward a need for more and greater access- ironic isn’t it. The futurists are telling us that our customers’ will need to access our services even more as time goes on, and not necessarily through brick and mortar but through call centers and online access. We have been assured that if we do not make our business services available to our customers, foreign competitors will. Our customers work around the clock. So why shouldn’t we have services around the clock, both public and private.
Hmmmmm…….how do you spell G L O B A L C O M P E T I T I V E N E S S?