I’m the quality manager of a small dimensional calibration
laboratory, and although I agree with most aspects of the
article on outsourcing calibration (July 2002), I would
like to respectfully add that not all ISO 17025 laboratory
accreditations are indications of a technically proficient
laboratory quality system. NVLAP- and A2LA-accredited laboratories
must pass many additional requirements for accreditation
that typical ISO 17025 accreditations don’t require.
NVLAP and A2LA require extensive work in the area of calculating
measurement uncertainties that ensure the values reported
by these labs are valid. Additionally, rigorous proficiency-testing
to prove the uncertainties claimed is also required. This
proficiency testing is controlled by an accredited third-party
proficiency-testing provider. The long and short of it is
that not all ISO 17025 accreditations are created equal.
NVLAP and A2LA are the only accreditations accepted outside
of the United States.
Editor’s note: We received more
than 100 responses to Scott M. Paton’s July editorial,
“Grading Customer Service.” We’ve included
as many as possible.
Among the atheists, civil libertarians, and those who have
enough power and/or money to believe that they’re
above the law, we’ve lost the lesson of “do
unto others as you would have done unto you.”
As much as we’d like to blame management, this sore
point begins at home. The simple lack of courtesy that’s
so important to customer service is so very lacking in the
youngest of children and their parents. I suppose management
trained these parents, but as a free nation, it’s
parental choice to show lack of courtesy to teachers and
set the example for their own kids.
I’m only 39, but I can’t figure out how American
society has managed to foster such a thankless, self-indulgent
cohort of service-position employees. You’ve got to
give bad parenting (or some other societal factors) as much
of the blame for the state of customer service as bad management.
Dover Flexo Electronics
The way customer service (or any employee) treats the customer
is a direct result of the way management treats the employee.
The state of some of the worst offenders in customer service
is a direct result of management’s insensitivity to
both the employee and the customer.
If the employee is often (or constantly) berated but never
coached and evaluated with proper rewards for good performance,
can one expect good service--much less ask the employee
to understand the emotional needs of the customer in any
given exchange? Too many managers view the management position
as RIP--retire in place--rather than as coach and mentor.
--David L. Mason
I believe there are two fundamental reasons why customer
service is getting worse:
1. Hopelessly declining morals and individuals who won’t
accept absolutes regarding right and wrong. Young people’s
current standards of morality are frightening.
2. Top management greed. In the mad policy that profit
is only good for top management, there’s simply little
or nothing in the budget for customer service.
It’s unfortunate that given all of our productivity
advances we’re unable to achieve a civilized society.
But too few individuals care about the Golden Rule:
* Christianity: “Do for others what you want them
to do for you.” (Matthew 7:12)
* Judaism: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
* Islam: “No one of you is a believer until he loves
for his brother what he loves for himself.” (Traditions)
* Buddhism: “Hurt not others with that which pains
yourself.” (Udanavarga 5:18)
* Hinduism: “Good people proceed while considering
that what is best for others is best for themselves. (Hitopadesa)
* Confucianism: “What you do not want done to yourself,
do not do to others.” (Analects 15:23)