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Surviving the recession

Yes, it's possible...

by Ally  |  2919 views  |  9 comments  |        Rate this now! 

I have a plan that I’d like to share with you -- because it involves YOU. Actually, it involves everybody. If everybody does their part, we not only have a chance of surviving the recession together, we have a chance of rebuilding our society into something spectacular.

First, let me ask you a question: When was the last time you were given amazing customer service? I don’t mean service that simply gave you what you paid for and did it with a smile and a bonus “have a nice day.” I mean the kind of service that throws out the rules of business and treats you like someone of value and an individual with needs different than the last customer’s needs. Not a one-size-fit all approach that we've come to know as the norm.

Is good old fashion customer service so far a thing of the past that the majority of this generation never really knew what it was to begin with? Have we gotten so used to the automated systems and virtual relationships that nothing is genuine anymore?

I DON’T THINK SO.

I am not complaining. I am proud of where we are... although I wasn’t at first. I was more skeptical and angrier than most. I don’t mean to harp on the big businesses -- after all they are run by people who have needs just as you and I do. But very often in big business we are unable to speak to real people who are able to meet our needs as their customers. Big business has become a large robot not programmed to care about our feelings, sensitivities, and real human experience. We grew up being told that everyone is special, but big business has taught us that everyone is exactly the same and that extraordinary needs are not tolerated -- or, at least, the robot is not programmed to understand them.

However, the good news is that recently I’ve seen a shift in that energy. People are needing to connect on a more human level. True we are communicating through text messages, emails, and blogs (ahem), but we are still connecting. And in some ways there is more of a connection because we all have access to one another on a level much greater than ever before: The Internet.

The Wonderful World of Web is a really good thing! So good that, if we read between the lines, we will see our unlimited potential and how capable we are of getting back to that sense of good old fashion customer service mentality.

Since we are able to shop and do business online, we can now choose from literally millions of companies to work with. If we don’t like their service, we can go elsewhere, just as easily. It’s not like we have to drive over to the next town because we didn’t like the clerk at the grocery store. We can buy from just about anyone we want.

About the Author

Ally Loprete is the Co-Founder of OurMilkMoney.com, an online directory of self-employed parents across the country. Ally's focus is to help expose parents working to create a better life for their families and her mission is to educate consumers on the value of purchasing from the small business owner. Ally is passionate about inspiring parents to connect with one another, and will often write about the brilliant ideas that seem to come to her only in the shower or while blowing her hair dry.

Read more by Ally




9 comments so far...

  • Thank you, my friends...not just for indulging me...but for living out exactly what needs to be done. I am so proud of the women I have met here who run their own businesses while raising a family- and doing it with such strength and integrity! Never give up on what is important. This is another reason I know we will help each other survive the recession.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Ally on 30th August 2008

  • Great article! I totally agree with you. When I started my business, I didn't really "get it"...you know....about supporting the small business. Now, I look for the small businesses to support. Starbucks? Nope. I take the kids to Maui Wowi for frozen drinks now. Blockbuster? No way. We go to the $1 movie cube at the grocery store. Those are actually owned by small business owners like vending machines! I bet if everyone took a moment and looked around, you could find a small business or two to support.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by LisaLange on 19th August 2008

  • Love it! I love your theory about the recession and how it can be seen as a good thing- like a chance for us all to rebuild and get back to values that are important to the individual. Thanks for such an inspiring article. I do love your writing.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Julie on 19th August 2008

  • I have to laugh at your last line because we live in a very small town and we DO only have ONE grocery store - LOL. However, the owner, Cindy, is a very nice lady so we don't feel the need to drive to the next town :-)

    This is great Ally. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am impressed by your writing talents, also. I feel like I am inside your head when I read your words - that's what makes a great writer!

    Oh, and the points you make about buying from small business - those are good too ;-) I have totally changed my thinking as far as that goes. I've found some small businesses with awful customer service and you are right...we just don't buy from them anymore. I think in order to make a small business run and LAST, good customer service is a must. Not a 'maybe' but a MUST.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by SharaPCS on 18th August 2008

  • Thank you for such a great article. I always enjoy your articles

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Cathy - Reay Solutions on 18th August 2008

  • Great article, Ally! I mean, think about it! How many of us really feel good about buying gas? But, doesn't feel great to shop at a local farmers market, or to eat out at that yummy mom and pop restaurant? Not only does our dollar matter more, but these are businesses we can actually establish a relationship with. And that relationship is going to ensure great customer service, quality products and help the businesses that need it most during this recession. Just about every product we use is available from a small business- so find them and refer them :)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by LDub on 18th August 2008

  • This article is SPOT ON! I know all of us moms are awesome Ebayers, and usually we go for the cheapest deal. But this article perfectly explains something I did the other day:

    I actually chose to buy from someone I'd purchased from before and was amazing at following up and answering my questions. She was $2 more expensive than the other internet store price listed, but I chose to actually pay MORE for the comfort of knowing the customer service quality was there!

    I would do it again too!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by asmall on 18th August 2008

  • Love this article! Being from the south, I grew up going into shops and being treated special, many times clerks would know my name and even my preferences. After moving to California many years ago- I realized there is no such thing as customer service here and unfortunately these days it is sweeping the nation. I've kind of given up and when someone does go out of their way to be helpful it is so shocking - I sometimes forget what I need help with! But, like you said with the internet, I now how a greater choice and have found many family run businesses really go out of their way- and understand the meaning of customer service. I always look for these types of businesses to give my hard earned dollars to.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kelli on 17th August 2008

  • What a great perspective. Nice, positive way of looking at things!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by TamiJyl on 17th August 2008

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