(Scene: Two working women sitting across cubicles from each other, one holding a crisp $5 bill in the air.)
“Hey there. I have a mind puzzle. If you get the answer in under two minutes, your Starbucks is on me. Are you in?”
Okay, sure, I guess.
“You get two minutes. Ready?”
Wait… what do I win? What kind of game is this?
“It’s a mind teaser. Now, shhh. Here’s your question: For our clients, what is the one essential tool that they all use? Go!”
Whoa, you’re serious! Okay, okay, let’s think here. Our industry is broad. We have hotels, auto repair shops, restaurants, plumbing companies—any organization or company who provides intangible products or services. Wait. Isn’t that every company?
“Pretty much. But before you get hung up on the scope of our industry, tick tock. The game, remember?”
“What essential tool do they all use?”
Okay. Right. Let me think. What tool could every single company in the world who offers a service or product all possibly use?
“Too broad. Tick tock.”
Okay, what tool would an auto repair shop and a salon both use?
“Not just use. Our industry’s essential tool?”
Right. Okay. How much time is left? Never mind. Let’s see here, let’s think this through. What is absolutely essential to a company who provides a service? Ooh! And also essential to the customer—the service industry couldn’t exist without customers to serve, right?
“Getting warmer. Tick tock.”
Stop saying that! Okay, okay. Think. Think. Essential to both the company and the customer …
“Times up. You lose.”
Wait. What? That’s not fair! What kind of game is this? You don’t even have a timer!
“Excuse me. Do you have any form of proof that a transaction took place, that this ‘game’ ever even happened?”
Carbonless papers: the service industry’s essential tools, declaring proof of service, receipt of payment, and ensuring the ability to operate business with ease.
Hey! You tricked me!