Eye Wide Open

By Dawn Lospaluto
In April 25, 2013

Big Brother is alive and well, and, with apologies to George Orwell, may not be so bad after all.

The ability of law enforcement agencies to obtain such strikingly clear images of the two Boston Marathon bombers and identify them so quickly was the direct result of cameras in and around downtown buildings.

The increasing proliferation of security cameras has made images of break-ins, muggings, and accidents a commonplace on the local news in the New York metropolitan area―images that also often lead to rapid identification and arrests.

Cameras have become a staple inside warehouses and retail establishments, too. And they aren’t looking just for shoplifters, but keeping a close eye on employee activities. No wonder, as it was reported today that retail companies in the U.S. lose more money through employee theft than through shoplifting.

The all-seeing eye has even made its way into the hospitality industry, where hidden cameras in bars and restaurants uncover poor service, unsanitary kitchens, and employees pocketing others’ tips or vendor kickbacks.

These restaurant installations have recently become a staple of reality television. In one show, owners who have experienced a decline in business call in an expert to spy on employees in an effort to find out why the business is suffering. The hidden cameras nearly always reveal a serious problem with the service. The ambience may be fine, the food good, but the service is often poor to wretched.

Interestingly, the owner invariable says that he has never gotten any customer complaints about service, although there may be some negative reviews online. The reason seems to be that people don’t want to complain about a person because they fear they may cost him his job and/or that he may retaliate against them in some way.

They will complain about the food, but they almost never say anything about poor service. In fact, most people will still give bad servers a tip. What they won’t do, however, is return to the restaurant. And, whether it’s through an online review or by word of mouth, they will spread the negative word about the establishment to others.

If your business is falling off and you believe that you are producing quality work on time and at fair prices, your service―and those delivering it―may be the problem. You may not be hearing it directly from your customers, but they may be telling you by staying away.

The good news is that you don’t need to install any hidden cameras to find out if service is the issue. An NAPL eKG Competitive Edge Profile™ will let you pinpoint where the problem lies quickly and accurately. This benchmarked customer survey will not only show you where your service may be lacking, but also give you a measure of how important service is to your customers―and how well your service compares to that of your competitors.

The high response rate and accuracy of the eKG profile makes it a perfect tool for getting all the information you need to improve your competitiveness, and you can focus your camera activity on taking your own family photos.

Want to know more about this proprietary NAPL service? Click here or call Tim Fischer at (800) 642-6275, Ext. 6376.

Dawn Lospaluto

Epicomm Senior Director of Communications, Dawn has been the editor of Epicomm 's "Bottom Line" magazine and its predecessor publications, "NAPL Business Review," Printing Manager," and "The Journal of Graphic Communications Management," for 20 years. She also writes and edits several Epicomm member print and electronic newsletters, including [Re]View, Management Bulletin, Highlights, and Discover; press releases; and various marketing materials; and oversees Epicomm 's book publishing program. Dawn previously served as corporate managing editor for Allied (now Honeywell) Corporation and as a reporter and editor for New Jersey's largest evening newspaper. She is a graduate of Douglass College (Rutgers University) and holds an M.A. degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she has served on the adjunct faculty.

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