Good Service – Bad Service

Good service is so rare these days that it is always a pleasure to receive good and pleasant care and attention from a waiter in a restaurant, a call center lady, a public servant, motorcar driver … in fact from anyone!

We tend to not recognize how important good service is in our everyday lives. It all boils down to the level of exchange we deliver – even with simple things – a smile for a smile, a returned phone call, and answered email, a helping hand after receiving a lovely meal, – They are all exchange for something.

But when we don’t return a flow delivered in our direction with a flow back of fair value things go awry.

Unfortunately, the further we move into the Twenty First Century the rarer the commodity of good service and good manners become.

LRH covers this very succinctly in the article below. 

We could isolate four conditions of exchange.

First consider a group which takes in money but does not deliver anything in exchange. This is called rip-off. It is the “exchange” condition of robbers, tax men, governments and other criminal elements.

We are forever reading in the press or hearing in the news about robberies, high-jacks, money laundering and worse still, government corruption and bribery. It is all criminal exchange – taking something for nothing…

Second is the condition of partial exchange. The group takes in orders or money for goods and then delivers part of it or a corrupted version of what was ordered. This is called short-changing or “running into debt” in that more and more is owed, in service or goods, by the group.

This is very common in many countries and business operations currently …  Such as governments who demand high taxes but deliver poor services; companies who deliver faulty or poor-quality goods, or employees who often arrive late, stretch their lunch times and sneak off early but expect the company to continue to pay them a full salary and then complain because they don’t get a raise. … But not only that it is often found much closer to home – how about family members, and even children, who sponge off their relatives expecting endless care and contribution but give or do little for the family in return.

These people can often end up being rejected or shunned, or even unemployed without support or friends. If this happens, they are likely to sink into criminal exchange.

The third condition is the exchange known, legally and in business practice, as “fair exchange.” One takes in orders and money and delivers exactly what has been ordered. Most successful businesses and activities work on the basis of “fair exchange.”

On this condition of exchange, you are likely to find the reliable employee who does an honest day’s work and gets a fair salary for what he does. But sadly, this person is unlikely to progress much, if at all, up in level of responsibility within the group. He will be considered a safe, reliable employee, but because of lack of initiative shown will be by-passed on the promotional ladder.

This same situation can also occur between companies because they can be overshadowed by the company who will offer more for their money than they do. And this leads us to the highest condition of exchange …

The fourth condition of exchange is not common but could be called exchange in abundance. Here one does not give two for one or free service but gives something more valuable than money was received for. Example: The group has diamonds for sale; an average diamond is ordered; the group delivers a blue-white diamond above average. Also, it delivers it promptly and with courtesy.

A group or person who delivers more than was expected becomes sought after and respected … they will be constantly in demand and in turn will be likely to receive promotions and rewards for their efforts. This level of service is worth striving for and is what will lead us to an expanding and growing operation …

Now, believe it or not, organization income and staff pay depend upon which of the above four exchanges is in practice by (a) the organization or group, or (b) the staff member in the group.

If #1 is in vogue, income will dry up with a thoroughness you wouldn’t believe. Although the TV and movies try to tell one that robbery is the only way to get rich, this is not true. Those who engage upon it, whether they be stickup men, corporate con men or governments are not long for this world. The bigger the group, the longer it takes for it to fall, but fall it assuredly does. And the individual who takes but does not give ends up with a deep-six in many ways quite rapidly.

The second condition of partial exchange can only keep a group or individual going just so long. The end result is painfully a demise of status or position and, most certainly, income.

Many “third world countries” and even the bigger ones are in this plight right now. They take in but do not really produce or give. This is what inflation is all about. The unemployment ranks are full of such.

The third condition of “fair exchange” gives one a rather level progress. It is considered “honest,” is socially acceptable and very legal under law. It does not, however, guarantee any expansion or improvement of a group or the lot of a person. It is barely comfortable.

The fourth condition is the preferred one. It is the one I try to operate on and have attempted to for ages. Produce in abundance and try to give better than expected quality. Deliver and get paid for it, for sure, but deliver better than was ordered and more. Always try to write a better story than was expected; always try to deliver a better job than was ordered. Always try to and deliver a better result than what was hoped for.

This fourth principle above is almost unknown in business or the arts. Yet it is the key to howling success and expansion.

It is true for an organization; it is true for the individual staff member.

This point is extremely important. It is vitally important for each member of the group to rise to this highest level of exchange – exchange in abundance. Only when each member of a team, group, company, and even within a government, is aiming to deliver exchange in abundance from whatever level they are operating, does the whole operation become a true success.

Where a group is concerned, there is another factor which determines which of the four above is in practice. It is group internal pressure. Where this only comes from executives, it may not get activated. Where it comes from individual group members in the group itself, it becomes assured. The internal demand of one staff member to another is what really determines the condition of the group and establishes which of the four conditions above come into play.
LRH, HCOPL 10 Sept 82, “Exchange, Org Income and Staff Pay”, OEC  volume 0, pages 317-318


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