Would you like to be irreplaceable?

This article was published in Dunya newspaper on 28th April 2017.

Did you ever notice the condescending look on the waiter’s face when ordering food at a fancy restaurant, as if he has just seen a crab walking on the table? Not only does the waiter make you uncomfortable but you cannot pronounce half the items in the menu.

If you are in such a situation, you can be sure your tab will be too high.

Service sector is a growing sector all around the world. Unlike agriculture or industrial products, the product of the service sector is intangible, and yet it comprises 1/3rd of the economy. Now add onto that the service department of manufacture companies and you get a large portion of the whole economy.

Everything comes down to delivering good service, in personal life as well as in business. Sometimes great products can me wasted at the hands of less than satisfactory service personnel. But sometimes, a person or a company creates a difference in this field.

In today’s rapidly expanding and developing business world, services that don’t stand out of the crowd are doomed to failure. The price and quality of mass and standardized production is incomparable with that of 50 years ago. 3D technology is already at a level where large industrial applications are no longer necessary. Robots will soon put most of the service sector out of a job. Services that don’t stand out, can’t stand out will soon disappear.

As an employee if you don’t have any unique qualities, you can easily be replaced. In order to keep your job you have to pay attention to the below three points.

Quality

This is the main occupation that creates your job, your company. The work that you perform, the service that you create has to be useful to others. This is why you are there and if what you do, what you deliver is unusable to others receiving negative feedback is inevitable.

A finished product is something that is all ready for its next step in production or is easily usable by another person. In this age of instant gratification we don’t have any tolerance for low quality or unfinished products.

The problem surfaces when this intolerance is expressed at the production line, mistakes snowball and the result is a tragic end.

Continuity, consistency

The problems with these usually arise from the performance of the employees. In our country it is not frowned upon to cancel a meeting set weeks earlier, just because there was heavy rain that day. Considering that employers were raised with the same mindset in the same schools, continuity and planning ahead cannot be easy.

The main problem with the service sector in turkey is continuity. Your company may be offering a high level service, but if you don’t have a continuity plan there will always be ups and downs in that service.

Fair price

It is not easy to survive as a company if you don’t have a good pricing strategy. In order for your company to thrive it is imperative to manage the price of your service correctly. If impossible to offer a price below that of your operation costs but it is possible to reduce your costs by selecting the right cost-reducing technologies and processes. For this you have to pay attention to R&D, to always invest in the future.

Is this only true for companies?

Of course not!

Unless you are an employee whose qualities are considerably higher than the average of the team, you may lose your position to someone with a lower pay expectancy during an economical crisis. For this reason you have to invest in yourself and balance your price to your service level.

All of the above are the minimum that must be considered to keep survive as a company or as an employee.

If you are more or less (or mostly) compliant with the above, than you can consider yourself to be in good standing as a professional.

What about becoming irreplaceable?

Both your customers and your manages will ask you to stay close and do as you are told. If you really want to be irreplaceable or become the sector leader as a company, it all comes down to your behavior.

This effect only occurs if you not only deliver the expected service, but an unexpected and surprising service as well. If you positively surprise people, if you perform your tasks willingly and enthusiastically and if you ask yourself the below questions for at least a few minutes every day, you can become an irreplaceable service provider or an irreplaceable employee:

* Can I do better?

* How can I improve myself so that I can deliver this?

* How can I make processes smoother in my company?

And then there is the opposite of this situation: Companies who owe something to their customers or employees who owe something to their employees.

Companies who don’t have a high service quality, and on top of that have a inconsistent service can behave the opposite way when it comes to financial motivation. They may have ridiculously high prices, in exchange for a less than ideal service.

My personal experience is that price and service motivation usually move in inverse proportion.

If the food is bland in a restaurant I am pretty sure the bill will be higher than I expected.

But don’t forget, the price of a bottle of wine in that restaurant is about ten days of pay for that waiter who has just looked down on you.

 

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