On the Street: Readers assess the importance of customer service today

On the Street: Readers assess the importance of customer service today

The sagging economy caused many businesses to cut back on staffing. Reduced manpower, Client support crosswordhowever, often sacrifices customer service. Jacksonville Advantage tapped into the resources of LinkedIn and asked in discussion groups about the value of customer service compared to price in a down economy. The consensus was that good customer service is possibly more important today than ever before. Several business owners gave their opinion:

Out-service your competition

howardstocdalesmallI have never been afraid to re-evaluate my convictions, one of which is to be successful in business you must out-value and out-service your competition. My father ingrained in my brother and me that a solid work ethic pays off in the end. He would also say, “If you’re not going to do the job right, then don’t do it at all.” He was also a fan of the famous Lee Iacocca statement, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.”

I believe these philosophies and practice them the best I can. I probably always will.

— Howard Stockdale

Jacksonville IT Services

Persistence pays

shaungintersmallHard work and good customer service are critical to success. I would also add persistence. The simple truth is that there will be tough days, weeks, and months in which these types of philosophies will seem to have no positive affect. Be persistent and stay the course. Very few companies stay true to their mission, vision, or values over the years, and they suffer and at worst go out of business.

Shaun Ginter

Solantic Walk-in Urgent Care


Go the extra mile

Going the extra mile with customer service is valid in today’s business environment, even though we are getting mixed signals because our clients (and their clients) are cutting costs, which forces us to lower prices and drives our attention to delivering our service cheaper.

Staying true to your mission, vision, and values in the current climate will ultimately lead to long-term success. That’s the beauty of having a clear vision and mission: When things get foggy, it focuses you on why you exist and what you do better than your competitors. This, of course, is easier said than done at a time when a lot of companies are in survival mode and looking at just their numbers. But it is the best time to separate from your competitors.

Brian Quinn


More than ever

Hard work and good customer service are more important today than ever. Customers and prospective customers have so many choices that you must find a way to differentiate your product or service from the rest of the pack. Now is the time to hire the best and brightest and shop around for any technological edge that could help serve customers better. You will receive better service from your vendors, have more time to make a more informed decision, be in a better negotiating position on price, and help your vendors—something they will not forget in the future.

— Doug Apelian, consultant

theajefferssmallFlexibility is key

My company’s success through this recession is due to flexibility and outstanding customer service with my clients/customers. I have had to modify some of my pricing, but it allowed me to continue to generate business.

—Thea Jeffers
T-works Interior Decorating

brian-smithsmallBalance is important

A company does not have to choose to quality over customer service over price. Success is dependent upon a company’s ability to balance all three. Choosing one over another is a recipe for failure.

—Brian Smith
Th(Inc), LLC

william-g-morasmallValue from the customer’s perspective

Value should be described from the customer’s perspective—looking at a benefit received instead of price paid to obtain full satisfaction. I believe achieving a customer’s perception of value has a huge significance in customer retention.

—William G. Mora
GM Consulting/Gamma Brands

mark-goldwichsmallValue is key

Value seems to be the key for my business, which appears recession-resistant (if not recession-proof). I actually raised prices in January 2009, and business is increasing. People always want a good price, but demand value.

—Mark Goldwich
Gold Star Adjusters, LLC

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