Thursday, February 28, 2008

Miscommunication in the business world as a result of our modern desires

I feel like I can't count on anyone or anything these days. Just when I think that a particular service actually cares about customer satisfaction or that a business person cares about professionalism I run into some sort of obstacle that causes extra costs and delays. When I think about it more I realize that the problem is miscommunication. I have learned over time from experience that it's always necessary to prepare a plan of action before purchasing a service or product because there will most likely be a miscommunication problem along the way. But, even with a plan of action you can never be too sure if the servicer understands you completely. Most likely, that person will miss something that you asked for or specified and there seems to be many reasons for this. One of the main reasons, I find, is that they are so disinterested in your case or need that they sometimes remain preoccupied about their own experiences or problems. There is a sense of ignorance that is radiated when the servicer has to ask twice about something that you already specified cleary, or so you thought.

The reason why I hire a service or buy a product from a business is because I cannot perform the service task myself, like replacing a broken toilet, or I require something that I have to purchase, like a washing machine. It sounds pretty straightforward, and it should since you are paying for it. But the truth is, it's not straightforward at all. To replace a broken toilet means that you have to hire a reliable and honest plumber and if you don't know a plumber there is a chance that costs may be considerably higher and that you will end up with the wrong type of toilet (yes, there are many different types and models). The annoyance of always paying more and waiting longer than expected escalates with the more customer/client experiences you have. The fact is customer service has broken down tremendously and product quality has become worse. And the bigger the city you live in, the worse customer service is. Customer satisfaction is no longer a guarantee since many, if not all, products are made in China or India. Service representatives and business owners remain preoccupied because they either are speaking to you from a different country and cannot properly understand you as with the former example or they have more important clients like friends and regular clients that they will show disinterest and misunderstand your explanation and requirements. As well, I find that in many instances with service contracters/technicians, they fail to ask the right questions and give proper instructions that, in the end, cause delays and extra costs. It's always this way.

Where have the ways of professionalism and respect gone? Even when the servicer is being treated with respect they will choose to be ignorant and impatient. Don't they wonder about the reputation of their business? Some do. They are usually small businesses that thrive in smaller communities and care more about their reputations. But, in many cases you end up dealing with some sort of problem, for instance, with the product you have purchased from any business.

The reality is that today's modern societies indulge in new products and programs whether technological or not. Each individual has a personal agenda that they like to follow through on. Their desires govern their actions and the consequences are left up to luck or perhaps a 'miracle'. Errors result in the end perhaps because desicions are not thought through properly all the time which, in turn, causes more delays and additional costs to a customer. Reputations are damaged because people may not realize that they are making poor desicions and errors in judgement. Their indulgence in new things causes them to over-indulge in their thoughts. Their thoughts are clouded by nothing more than desires ranging from icecream to American Idol. We're all more or less guilty of that. But, when it enters the service sector it effects communication between people. Professionalism and respectfulness in the business world have degraded creating an open arena of distrust and miscommunication between community members.

Who is to blame? I cannot speak for everyone on the customer end who requires a service or product because I do not know the extent of effort that each person puts into making the task easy for themselves. But, in my opinion I do believe that much of the blame lies in the structure and operation of all businesses, large and small. There is a clear attraction to manufacture or buy cheap products and sell a cheap service that ends up being unreliable and difficult to communicate to and understand. The modern business motto seems to be that once you sell it, it's the customer's problem. There's almost always a warranty, but the reliability in products and services has diminished and the customer is encouraged to pay more for an 'improved' product or 'gold' warranty plan for more reliability.

The end result is that people end up spending more money on products and services and, in turn, adapt to indulging in buying things. These desires cloud their minds and this indirectly effects professionalism and respectfulness in the business world today. I believe this. To go even further, since people are encouraged to buy new things in the modern world the old things are thrown away if not recycled. This creates accumulation of waste that cannot biodegrade and this negatively effects the environment. Therefore, I believe that people all over the world need to think less about desires of things, music, food, TV, God etc. and more about love, life, democracy, justice, and truth. This way we can all be respectful of each other and show care to one another in the economic, environmental, and social spheres.

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