12/07/2010

Service with a smile

I want to revolutionize the customer service industry.  Right now, it's dreadful.  But I can fix that.  My idea would improve efficiency and performance by maximizing job satisfaction.  Everybody wins.  How do you maximize job satisfaction in an industry whose purpose is dealing with people who tend to suck?  I'm glad you asked.  Customer service jobs need to assign tasks to its employees by way of an auction.  Use a bidding system!  

Here's how it works.  The customers have a seat in a lobby which the employees can view through one-way glass.  After surveying the herd, employees bid on the customers just as they would other livestock.  For example, if you're a waiter, your experienced eyes could spot a WalMart- shopping no-tipper by his polyester pants and Lynyrd Skynyrd tee shirt.  Your employer would bid the job to the wait staff, where the lowest bidder would seat the lowlife guest and serve him his grilled cheese, fries and malt liquor.  Sure, you're going to get stiffed, but you bid an acceptable price to wait on the guy up front.  

Those of you in service jobs already see how wonderful this system is.  You can eyeball somebody and size them up in milliseconds.  Contrary to political correctness doctrine, you can judge someone by their appearance.  It stands to reason.  Remember, the clothing people wear, the way they do their hair, jewelry, tattoos, complexion, gestures and mannerisms -- these aren't random events that just happened to people.  They're choices.  And what is character but the sum of the choices we make?  When you look at somebody, you see how they choose to present themselves to the world.  And that tells you quite a bit about their character.  Fat people are lazy, yo.  And if you have 19 visible piercings and a comic book's worth of artwork tattooed on your arms and neck, then guess what: you crave attention.  That's what that says about you.  Also, if you color-tip your hair, you're wicked queer.  And any Tap Out logos tip people off that you're a douche bag.  

Let's return to bidding auctions for service jobs.  This time, let's take healthcare as an example.  Every healthcare practitioner knows that some patients are less desirable than others.  So, the more fat, gross, old and disgusting patients drive the bidding higher until the practitioner holds his nose and takes the plunge.  "Alright, I'll go 150 on the 72 year-old blimp in the wheelchair with acute hemorrhoids and a bowel obstruction."  Going once, going twice... sold to the nurse in the teal scrubs.  Imagine healthcare workers choosing whom to care for instead of falling victim to whatever piece of garbage comes through the door.  Before, you were shackled to a duty of care.  Now, every patient becomes a choice and every service he requires is a fee you negotiated.  Free will, free enterprise and the freedom to control your workplace experience -- that's a winning combination.  Maybe then half of nurses in America wouldn't be contemplating hari kari 4 times per shift.   

Phone service jobs could bid from their cubicals.  Wouldn't it be nice to hold out for top dollar on a drunk native American customer who's currently on hold, waiting to buy car insurance?  He just bought a 30 thousand dollar Ram truck, but he has no checking account and lives in a tipi whose address is "30 paces down river from Old Coyote Rock."  Or a computer technician who can bid on a 74 year-old grandmother whose kids thought it would be a great idea to get Gam-Gam online for email and pictures of the family, and now the same lady who never figured out how to program a VCR is trying to format a POP3 email account to her ISP server.   "What is this blue "E" thingamabob for?"  Shit, I'd bid just to be able to listen in on that call (why is so damn funny to watch your coworkers dealing with infuriating customers?).  

The point is, customers suck.  And the people in service jobs know it.  They approach their work with a sense of drudgery, and the result is second-rate service.  Installing an employee-to-customer bidding system invokes the spirit of free enterprise and unleashes the power of competition.  Now, the customers aren't dolts, cheapskates and perverts.  They're projects.  The employee won the bid and the opportunity to do the job.  So he's happy.  The employer knows he contracted the job at the lowest market price.  So he's happy, too.  And as long as the bidding remains confidential, the customer feels like royalty.  Everybody wins!

22 comments:

Heff said...

Wow. I think you've really got a handle on this !

heartinhand said...

Tap Out Logos are the douchiest of the douchey!

I'm going to run this idea by my teenager. She works in the service industry and I just bet she'd love hear a new way of dealing with asshats!

Denise said...

You just solved all the worlds problems. Pat yourself on the back, you deserve it.

KittyCat said...

I have to say that I was disappointed that the story wasnt about something else.
You said "Service" with a smile.

I know I have such a dirty mind.

Great post none the less.

Penny Lane said...

Oh in a perfect world...

Well this would require a lot of judging, which I am totally okay with.

I worked in costumer service ( phones) and you know what I learned? Costumers suck and people are dumb!

SQT said...

I'm proud of the fact that I had to look up what a Tap Out logo was.

This could really work. Also, if I know that being fit means I'm more likely to have doctors fighting over me, then I have way more incentive to stay in shape. It's a win win.

Jennifer Fabulous said...

You've sold me. I think this needs to be taken into action. Lol. You're starting a revolution! ;)

Peter said...

Having recognized myself in several of the customer specifications I would like to register umbrage at some of the results.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I'd just be happy to get someone who speaks English on the line... :-)

Deborah said...

I'm on board for all of this; brilliant btw. Except for servers bidding on their customers.

I'd never get to have lunch out because all service people know that middle-aged white women tip horribly.

Ha!

Territory Mom said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love your insightful blog.

JUST ME said...

I mean...isn't that how the health care industry works anyway?

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh-- each year my brothers want me to chip in on the newest tech gift for mom. There is no way in hell she needs a TomTom to guide her to the same five stores/clinics she will ever visit. Plus, she is never going to learn how to use the darn thing. I can't wait to see what the siblings ask me to chip in on this year!

Good blog,

T-Rex

Kelley said...

You are really smart, LBB! You are really on to something here... This was an amusing post. I laughed out loud at the Tap Out reference. Ha!

Impulsive Addict said...

Okay...I totally get this! I bet it could work too. So now, you could work on the rest of our nations problems? It's BAD out there and I just know you can fix it.

I'm cyber-toasting you. CHEERS~

6 Happy Hearts said...

Oh Sweet Pickles. You crack me up.
Are you single? I notice all girl comments for you. I have a cute, single sister :)

Real Housewives of Oklahoma said...

Wow. You've thought a lot about this. I think you're onto something here. I'm diggin' the Native American with the $30,000 truck, a teepee and no bank account. I'd bid for him. I'm always up for the more interesting cases.

Mrs. Edwards

tornwordo said...

This would make working more fun. I had to go look up Tap Out. Thanks, I feel so edified now.

thoughtsappear said...

I like this auction idea except for one thing. I think it forces me to dress up.

What if I want to go out to eat, but I'm really just feeling yoga pants that day? I used to waitress, I'm a good tipper, but I'm not sure my yoga pants get that point across.

Wait...I just figured out a solution: wearing a name tag that says, "I used to waitress. I'm a good tipper." Thanks for talking that through with me.

Impulsive Addict said...

Ok. So we need to get you set up for email replies so "WE" can email you back our replies to the comments you leave on our pages. Don't worry...we can't see the address but how else am I supposed to address the issue of a complaining wife while she's birthing your child? I mean, the nerve of her. I can't believe she would complain about a tiny bit of pain.

Philosophia said...

"fat people are lazy yo". Gosh, you crack me up. :D This post about service is indeed very true, and your proposed strategy of installing an employee-to-customer bidding system is very innovative and effective. :) Hmm, I wonder where I'd fall under in your customer category... ;p

Memphis Steve said...

I wish I could bid for the best customers like that, but unfortunately all of my customers are in-house fellow employees of the same company, dang it! I think it'd work, though.