“If society values customers and employees, service will be valued.” says Eva-Karin Anderman, head of research, Almega.

She said this in response to a question from the floor on how government and other agencies can introduce policies or mandates to encourage society to value service. The understanding is that a lot of time, service is not valued, especially when the service is attendant (and thus seen as secondary) to a tangible product. In other words, people pay for stuff more willingly than they pay for advice, assistance or other intangible service.

I like the sentiments behind Eva-Karin’s statement. Mandating society to value service will never work, it is just about impossible to force people to change. If we want our customers to value our service, then we as individuals running businesses must start by valuing our customers and employees. Which then puts the onus, and the power, in our hands.

(Thought at the Innovation and Service Design conference, 29 Jan 2010, Malmö, Sweden.)