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By John Pitts

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Mediocre Service: Why?

Since when did mediocrity become the new normal? When did we, as a society, alter our standards to shift from good to good enough? We have apathetically accepted mediocrity and somewhere in the shuffle justified it for reasons we can’t seem to find anymore.

The other day, I was preparing for a vacation and searching TripAdvisor. I came across a review that said: “Mediocre but acceptable.” The reviewer went on to state that the hotel beds were uncomfortable, the food questionable and the customer service iffy at best. Really – I don’t know about you, but with a review like that, I’d stay away.

 As a business owner and manager, I refuse to accept mediocrity. My team does what it takes to ensure that both our clients and vendors experience only the best – both products and services. That being said, our team is the exception, not the rule. Why?

Since the economic downturn of 2008, consumers have come to accept mediocrity, forgetting what good customer service is and expecting the worst. Other consumers are motivated by cost – willing to accept lower levels of customer service for lower costs. And while consumers understand that the service will be lower, the gratification of saving money takes precedent. But regardless of cost, shouldn’t customer service always be great?

On the flip side, businesses are taking advantage of society’s acceptance of mediocrity. Operating on the mantra that if consumers accept mediocrity long enough, they’ll eventually never know what they’re missing. Is this really what we’ve come to? Can’t we do better? I know we can and here’s how:

Stop rewarding bad behavior – don’t accept mediocrity. Define what quality service means to you and accept nothing less. There are still companies out there that hold customer service above anything else. Find them.

Define your level of great –what does the word “great” mean to you? While you might not have ever experienced great customer service, in your wildest dreams what does it look like to you? Once you have determined it, expect that and nothing less.

Challenge others to do the same – get inspired. Never post, “Mediocre but acceptable.” Do better, be honest and don’t be afraid to share that information. The only way mediocre services will stop is when society stops allowing them to exist in the first place.

Personally, I’ll never settle for mediocre and I’d never expect my clients, vendors or staff to either. I challenge us to do better, be better and remember what great really is.

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