Jerry Raehal: Opening Pandora's box

Tell us about businesses that provide quality customer service

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There have been plenty of comments regarding Saturday's editorial, "Questions companies don't want asked."

People have told us that we were right on in pointing out customer service deficiencies in the area, or that they agrees with some or most of our points. Others have said The Daily Press has no idea what it is like to run a small a business, while others have pointed out our faults with customer service, which we stated we have, and always appreciate feedback on how we can do better.

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Anytime a debate like this gains momentum, a lot of good points are made. I will go into two.

One, it's not just customer service that is at issue. It is how community members as a whole treat each other. As a broad generalization, people are rude and show little courtesy toward others.

How many times do you see a person on a cell phone when he or she is checking out at a store or restaurant, all the time never making any comment toward the person standing in front of him or her?

How many times do you see a person be curt to an employee for no apparent reason other than because he or she can?

There is an issue of customer service, but perhaps it is part of a cycle in how we treat each other.

Two, if we want to highlight customer service, The Daily Press needs to put its money where its ink is.

It's the paper's policy to not run letters to the editor that highlight how a business operates, under the guidelines that it is more of an advertisement. If we were to do so, we could open Pandora's box.

We don't know who is sending the letter in (it could be the business owner's relative or employee); therefore, we don't know if the person actually received quality customer service or if the person is just trying to build some false word-of-mouth advertising.

Also, we want to keep the opinion page open for the community.

However, the reality is this: It has come across loud and clear that customer service is a community concern.

Therefore, we're going to open Pandora's box.

For the next two months, any letter highlighting a business or an employee will be run. The Daily Press wants to focus on spreading positive word of mouth about businesses or employees who do it right, and hopefully, that will create an environment where businesses are competing to have better customer service.

After the first two months, we will still accept letters highlighting businesses or employees, but we will run them once a month, the first Wednesday of the month.

The Daily Press' editorial board, which changes every three months, also will use suggestions to nominate a business of the quarter for outstanding customer service skills. The Daily Press will present an award and write a feature on the selected business.

Some psychologists argue positive reinforcement makes for better, long-term change than negative reinforcement.

We've pointed out the negative. Help us point out the positive.

Tell us who is doing good job, and let's see if we can spread it and make it last.

Highlight a business

  • Send letters highlighting an area business or employee to editor@craigdailypress.com or to 466 Yampa Ave. Craig, CO 81625
  • Letters highlighting businesses or employees are not to be longer than 300 words. Letters more than the length will not be published.

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