Since my first visit to the USA in 1976 I have seen the slow decline of customer service across the country. In the 70ï¿½s I admired their customer service and it was a place to learn new techniques. Since then it has slowly declined, mainly due to the low wages of people in this part of retailing, which has not increased apart from a few cents for a decade. This may be about to change. Minimum wages is now back on the American political agenda. Plus, a January 2007, a survey carried out by the American Small Business Monitor of businesses that employ less than 100 employees showed some interesting results. The question asked was ï¿½which business skills would you like to develop further?ï¿½ The answers: 63% Customer Service 58% Marketing/Sales skills 48% Financial Management 40% Decision Making 30% Negotiations There may be hope for the consumer yet in the USA.