Most Canadians are employed in the service industries in Canada. As a result most of us provide and rely on many different services during the course of our days and year. We expect that the services that we receive will be dependable, and of a high standard. In reality, some are and some are not. Kudos to the people who go the extra mile and who go above & beyond to meet the requirements of their customers and clients.
The customer – service provider relationship is based on a monetary exchange for services provided. Salespeople who work for a car dealership try to sell you a car for profit. Make no mistake that they are working for the car dealership and not for you. However, if you are put off by the services that either they or anyone else at the dealership provides, you may not be back as a repeat customer. Most people understand that businesses must make money to stay in business and that as long as the deal agreed is deemed fair all is good.
The client – service provider relationship is based on a professional relationship that reliant on much more than a fair deal. Clients are represented by the people who take them on as clients and they rely on the advice that they good during the course of their decision making on luxury homes in the City of Courtenay. In this context, service providers work for their clients first and foremost (or at least they should) and the monetary compensation is (or at least it should be) secondary. Real estate is a business that purports to value client relationships. This is the case with the better agents but some agents view the people that they deal with as customers. Agency law (such as Designated Agency in BC) provides for either a customer or client relationship. People are best served by a client relationship that focuses exclusively on them and their needs but unfortunately this distinction is not well understood by that many people in the general public. Just as lawyers do not work for both sides of a dispute, neither should realtors work for home buyers and sellers at the same time yet this does happen.
A number of safeguards are often put into place by overseeing and regulating agencies in the service industry. Codes of ethics and standards of business practices are among them. Not every service industry or sector has these but many do. The challenge is to find people who put them into practice as part of their daily business and professional dealings with people. The next time you work with a realtor ask them to show you both of these. They do exist and they should be using them without having to have someone enforce their use. In their simplest and most basic forms, these guidelines are all about doing the right thing for the right reasons even, and especially, when nobody is looking. Like integrity in business, it is either a fundamental aspect of how the person conducts business or it is not. Few things in life are black and white but business ethics and integrity are.
As Confucious said a long time ago “meet the virtuous and think how to be their match; meet those not virtuous and examine yourself”. The concept espoused is especially applicable to leadership. Effective leaders value the people that they lead and they show this through their words, behaviour and actions. Confucious clearly understood this as he said “I used to take a man at his word and trusted he would act accordingly. But now I listen to his words and note his actions. Actions take precedence over words. A gentleman is ashamed if his words outshine his actions.”
Clearly we would be all better off if we were served by true leaders in business. People who truly care about their clients are out there in many walks of life and business. Once you find them hang onto them. It should not matter if you need a doctor in Vancouver or a lawyer in the Comox Valley. Every professional who provides services should be driven by a desire to go Above & Beyond to meet the needs of their clients.