Well, the fact is - I have used the term "full service" to describe what we do... and I meant it and mean it. In fact, people that know me and have worked with me are familiar with an expression I used "no job too small" when I would describe what I did for a company, or client - or in my previous incarnations in corporate. As a trade show manager, I would be on my hands and knees repairing a carpet with glue before showtime, or getting gum off of an executives shoe... if I needed to. In corporate, as an executive assistant, when asked by one executive what my goal was - I said "to make you weep at the thought of me going on vacation."
The difference for me is my customer service philosophy was founded in my early training as a waitress. I truly learned what it meant to give good service - even if it included helping a customer get a spot out with club soda. I'm not embarrassed to say I will do whatever is necessary to help a client or customer achieve their objectives as long as it is legal and doesn't humiliate me.
One client hosted an offsite retreat for her professional colleagues. I was an attendee, I was the organizer and I was the event manager. That meant wearing multiple hats, arranging the fruit, making sure hospitality was on top of their game... and my client's guests left feeling the "purrr" she wanted them to have. Full Service.
So my advice to the business community is to ask for clarification when someone claims they offer "full service". Just what does it mean? Does it mean that you can call them at 4:00 a.m. if necessary? Does that mean they will pick up your laundry? If so - grab em. They'll earn their money.
Now here is the rest of the article for your enjoyment:
"Learning" (the made-up, annoying noun version)
Like most educated people, Michael Travis, principal of Executive Search for Life Sciences, a headhunting firm, knows how to conjugate a verb. That's why he cringes when his colleagues use the word "learning" as a noun. As in: "I had a critical learning from that project," or "We documented the team's learnings." Whatever happened to simply saying: "I learned a lesson from that project?" Says Travis: "Aspiring managers would do well to remember that if you can't express your idea without buzzwords, there may not be an idea there at all."
You don't work at a gas station from the 1980s, so why borrow the cliché? "If I hear one more professional describe their business as full service, I'm going to scream," says Deborah Shames, co-author of Own The Room: Business Presentations that Engage, Persuade and Get Results. "Does this mean your investment firm drops off dry cleaning and provides babysitters?"
"Over The Wall"
If you're not wielding a grappling hook, avoid this meaningless expression. Katie Clark, an account executive at Allison & Partners, a San Francisco public relations firm, got a request from her boss to send a document "over the wall." Did he want her to print out the document, make it into a paper airplane and send it whooshing across the office? Finally she asked for clarification. "It apparently means to send something to the client," she says. "Absurd!" Agreed.
This wannabe verb came to prominence, says Bryan Garner, editor in chief of Black's Law Dictionary, because most people don't understand the difference between the words "affect" and "effect." Rather than risk mixing them up, they say, "We will impact our competitor's sales with this new product." A tip: "Affect" is most commonly a verb, "effect" a noun. For instance: When you affect my thinking, you may have an effect on my actions.
"Out Of Pocket"
Many auto-reply e-mails now carry the phrase: "I'm out of pocket until next week." Mark Daly, an account manager at the Davies Murphy Group, a marketing firm, isn't sure where the phrase started, but he'd like for its use to stop: "Expenses come out of pockets, quarterbacks come out of the pocket, but Johnny, well he'll just be plain unavailable or out of the office."
"Take It To The Next Level"
In theory, this means to make something better. In practice, "the phrase means absolutely nothing," says Laurent Duperval, who runs an eponymous consulting company in Quebec. "Nobody knows what the next level actually looks like, so how am I supposed to know when I've reached it?" (For ways of actually measuring what's going on at your company, check out: "Nine Enlightening Business-Performance Metrics.")
This word has come to mean everything from the traditional way to solve a mathematical proof to a suite of efficiency-enhancing software--and it is perhaps the epitome of lingual laziness. Says Glen Turpin, a communications consultant: "It usually refers to a collection of technologies too abstract or complex to describe in a way that anyone would care about if they were explained in plain English."
And A Few More, While We're At It…
Utilize: "Use" will do. Tee it up: Not without a caddy. Circle back: We prefer straight lines, or just an appointment to talk again in the future. Synergize: What?! Let's talk "around" that: This is what politicians do. Those who aim to accomplish something must talk about things.