Friday, May 29, 2009

Putting Serving in Service

We run a consulting service. Service.

Service is an odd word. It has several meanings as a noun.

Many people provide professional services. The guy who gets the wasps out of the back yard provides a service. The electric company provides a service.

There are military services and religious services.

A service provides a set of agreed upon experiences. We provide managed services. That means "this" but not "that" is included.

And a service does not have to be supplied with good customer service. We have a tendency to provide excellent computer services, but we do it our way (the right way).

We can easily create systematic methods for recovering data, troubleshooting problems, or building a computer. Creating a systematic customer service experience is much more difficult because of those pesky human beings. It seems like every one of them has a different personality!

So we provide a service. You provide a service. Our service is different from your service.

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Then there's Serving. Serving is the act of someone who serves.

To Serve is a transitive verb. That means it takes an object.

In other words, serving requires someone else. Someone has to be involved in the transaction.

We do way more than provide a service. Providing a service can be a one-way transaction. Nameless and faceless.

No. We serve our clients. We love them and coddle them. If they need something extra, we give it. If they need understanding, we're there.

And serving also means that we focus on doing what's right for them. We often tell clients that we won't "let them" do certain things.

In other words, we provide more than a take your money and run service. We engage the client, find out what their goals are, help them align those goals with their budget and the correct technology, and then help them reach their goals.

The difference between Serving and Service is quite dramatic.

You can take anything you do and throw it out on the market as a service. In this regard, a service is a pre-defined package that is offered. Platinum Service vs. Gold Service.

Serving requires a feedback loop. Serving is a way of doing business. It involves listening to clients and adjusting what you do to serve them better.

Serving takes service to the next level.

And it's a lot harder.

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And then there's Robert W. Service: "A promise made is a debt unpaid."


Robert W. Service: "It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out; it's the grain of sand in your shoe."


Check out Andrew Rogerson's new books on
Successfully Buying Your Business,
Selling Your Business,
Starting Your Business,
and Buying a Franchise.

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