Customer Service Then Vs Now

Customer Service Then Vs Now

“How A Trip Down Memory Lane Can Help Grow Your Business”

By: Patricia Jones

When it comes to customer service delivered in the 20th century, this era knew exactly how to bring it! When I hear of the 50’s, I think of poodle skirts, juke box machines, funky music, classic cars, 5 cent ice cream and plenty more! I must say, Wow!! What an era. The economy was booming and grew by 37%! You can just imagine how business owners felt at that time, this was truly a promising era for the economy. It was an exciting time to be a business owner. Providing excellent services was an important piece of this era. Now, when we narrow in on their services, that certainly played a big part of their profits. I asked myself, well… what exactly were they doing? So I took it upon myself to gather information and after careful research and brainstorming, I figured… well, nothing was distracting them from delivering great customer service! No cell phones were invented for associates to carry around and place in their back pockets and completely ignore the customer.

Mark Zuckenberg wasn’t born so clearly there wasn’t a Facebook, to quickly post a status.

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Customer Service Then Vs Now2Oh yeah lets not forget twitter, it was absolutely impossible to even send out a tweet about how “boring it is at work.” Then I thought about snap chat, that wasn’t invented either, so no one could snap a quick video while at work in hopes of it going viral.

So of course the focus in that era, we can clearly see, was specifically on the customers and growing a the mom and pop store into an empire. Owners in that era believed in core values and building customer relationships, eventually treating them as family. Marketing on social media wasn’t invented either, the only marketing was face to face interaction, which lead to word of mouth and flyers.

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Businesses today slowly fell out of that habit and grew with the times forgetting about the key ingredients to customer service. Looking back on the 20th century, they knew how to grow their business and keep loyal customers coming back for more. Customers began to get used to receiving great services, because companies focused so much on making them happy, owners were not hard to reach and quickly implemented their customers feedback. Customer Service Training in those days were strictly enforced as well. Hands on training to teach each associate the ins and outs of how to best sell a product, approach a customer, and sustain a customer loyalty. There weren’t any training video’s set in place or a computer interaction with a customer, in which we incorporate today.

Owners thrived to seek the best practices for their business and succeeded each and every time. Associates absolutely loved their jobs, their bosses and coworkers. They strived to walk the path of their owner to deliver the same exceptional service. Ultimately, grooming them to become a manager or take over the business. Many owners often used the motto “treat the customer how you would like to be treated.” This simple phrase went a long way, indeed and was practiced each and every time.

The associate Greeted each guest that came in, often addressed loyal customers by their name to make them feel like family, and always eager to help when asked, politely assist the customer with their purchases and welcome the customer to come back. What a classic! Just a quick Simple step formula, nothing more, nothing less just the act of being kind to another human being, that was it, the icing on the cake. Believing in their vision, establishing a brand, displaying leadership at all times, and putting the customer needs first.  That method is what grew those mom and pop shops to a world wide empire, off the basic fundamentals of jump starting their business. Then I thought to myself, I wonder how businesses would be today if they implemented those classic practices even with the new technology and social apps? It can be done, absolutely. First, you must be able to embrace the classic ‘Simple Step Formula’, as well as keep up with the new ever changing technology. Besides social media is now used as an outlet to deliver speedy service online, it’s a great marketing tool to market your business, a good place to connect with your customers and the list goes on. In order to provide great customer service through, whatever platform you decide to deliver  it through, you must start with the basics, taking it back to the 20th century of course.

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Currently, in this day and age, every customer still wants to feel appreciated and have that one on one relationship with your business. So don’t be so fast to try and shy away from the classic methods that kept the economy booming in the 20th century. It can in fact improve your client base, increase traffic, and also your sales. The opportunities are endless when it comes to improving your customer service. Listening to your customers would be a great start! Those classic methods combined with the use of technology is how my company successfully trained a total of 19 stores, failing within their Customer Service and sales, within a big-box retailer who’s listed on the top 100 NRF. Took this once failing region to #1 in Customer Service and Sales, in just 2 short months! When asked how did we do it? Well… you can thank the 20th century and the evolution of technology! Now the poodle skirts, and juke box machines can stay lost in time, but I don’t mind re-inventing and imitating their customer service. The times certainly changed but being kind to others will always be apart of our human nature.

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Contributing Author:

Patricia Jones


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