“Hey, you’re late. Bad traffic again? Dinner’s almost ready.”
“No, I figured I’d stop and get the car serviced. It needed new oil and filters.”
“Oh right. Grab the salt, will you?”
That’s the meaning of the word ‘to service’
I don’t know how it aberrated itself to be used as ‘servicing clients’, but it’s incorrect, wrong, and bizarre.
Your toaster breaks, or your laptop, so you take it to a repairman.
He services it and you get it back repaired.
A machine needs maintenance, so you get it serviced.
It’s not that I’m the language police (count the number of typos on my blog if you don’t believe me), but words have meaning – for the person saying them and for the person hearing them.
And, it’s worth your trouble to be mindful of which words you choose.
You don’t ‘service’ your clients, because you don’t mess around with their pipes or wiring.
You don’t solder new pieces into their business or their mind, you don’t top up their virtual oilpan, and you don’t perform diagnostic checks on the workings of their engine and gearbox.
It simply makes no sense.
And, I could put up a pretty convincing argument that it’s not even ethical to use the word ‘servicing’ – but then we’re talking ethics at a highly refined filosophical level, best not get into that.
I know why this term is being used like this though.
It’s because business owners know that when they sell something – be it time or product – they render the buyer a service.
Selling something, thereby fixing problems, ultimately means you serve the buyer, within the context of an exchange.
Oh, but we can’t say that, can we. Can’t be mistaken for being servile, can we. And we’re certainly not servants – are we?
I don’t know Bubba, that’s all up to you. It’s all in how you deal with the transaction.
For me, when I work with a client, I serve that person to the best of my abilities, within the agreement stipulated.
In that action, at that moment, within that agreement, I’m there to serve, best as can.
But, that’s just me.
Another thing though, this is getting fun:
I just checked with my editor to see if perhaps there’s an older, archaic form of using ‘to service’ that I don’t know about, which would make this email a rant without grounds.
She says there isn’t, and that I’m right.
She says there is another meaning – and doesn’t it just drive home my point…
Servicing someone is a term used in the UK… for when you’re giving someone an enormous shag. As in: sex.
So yeah, I reiterate my point: It’s useful to use your language purposefully.
I mean, one day you might email a client in the UK ‘Thanks, it’s been great servicing you” and just how silly would you look at that moment?
Also because: if you really know how to use language – strategically, persuasively…
If you really understand how to construct sentences, sequences of statements, and write emails that people open every day…
When you know how to reach into people’s minds and mean something to them by the way you write…
Then you control one of the most powerful tools for selling practically anything.
Learn the psychology of selling with email marketing, and you’ll be using the fastest, highest ROI, easiest, and most fun marketing strategy that I know of.
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