What Keeps You Coming Back Again and Again

I am curious as both a Customer Service Representative and as a Customer – what keeps bringing you back???  When you go to a business – what exactly is it that the Customer Service Rep does that keeps you returning?  Or maybe what does a Customer Service Rep not do that keeps you from returning.

I’m interested in hearing your stories – either good or bad.

How to Maintain A Positive Attitude in a Stressful Work Environment

By: Cindy Thornthwaite

There is no such thing as a perfect job.  Or if there is – I haven’t found mine quite yet.  If I could work solely with customers and only with co-workers who were as dedicated to Customer Service as myself, that would be my perfect job.  It seems that the stress I encounter on a daily basis is from all from my co-workers and not my customers.

I find myself being able to assist even the most difficult customer with a smile and a genuine care for their satisfaction.  I cannot find myself working with any co-workers who have little compassion or concern for the customer.  It creates such an amazing amount of stress in my life that I find myself not being to function.

This is where you have to decide, “Do I swim with the rest of the fish and sink to their level or do I rise above and remain true to myself?”

You could lower your expectations and just give in to sub-par Customer Service like everyone around you or you can continue to do what you know is right.

This is not always easy, some days you feel like you’re just dragging dead weight behind you – all day – every day.  Trust me I know.  I’ve been there myself several times.  When you work for a company for a long time, you can get very complacent with your surroundings and you start to relax.  Too much as a matter of fact.  When you feel like your office is your home and you treat it as such, you are way too relaxed in your environment.  Now, don’t get me wrong; it’s nice to be in an environment where you can feel so relaxed it makes for a very pleasant work day.  But, then again, we are not talking about you any longer, are we?  We are talking about your customers and what they expect when they walk through your door.

It’s not about you.  Believe, it or not, it’s about your customers wants and needs. That is the attitude that you need to bring into your work place every single day.  Not the mind set of your comforts.  I have seen unbelievable examples of work place behaviors in my travels.

When I start to feel like I am sinking to their levels, this is what I do to remind myself what and WHO is important.

  1. Breathe deeply. This helps to clear the brain and the negative thoughts.
  2. Look (and I mean really look) at each and every customer that walks through the door.
  3. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What would you demand when you walked in?
  4. Remind yourself that you are better! Not just today, but every day!
  5. Listen (and I mean really listen) to your customers when they speak.
  6. Thoroughly understand what your customer needs and wants from you.
  7. Give your customer your undivided attention!
  8. Make sure your customer is 100% satisfied when they leave.
  9. Walk away from the situation if need be. Sometimes, just getting away can clear your mind. Even if it’s only 5 minutes!
  10. REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU STAND FOR!  NO ONE CAN TAKE THAT AWAY FROM YOU.  ONLY YOU CAN LET IT GO!

As the saying goes, “NEVER GIVE UP – NEVER SURRENDER!”

Yesterday’s Whirlwinds

Yesterday’s Whirlwinds

By: Cindy Thornthwaite

Every day of every week, month, and year are forever the exact same

I know how my day will be laid out again for me before it even starts

Yesterday will happen again and again, always playing with me the exact same game

Swirling in a whirlwind around and around always stabbing at my heart

Spinning me in circles, fast, slow, and out of control, forever holding me in chains

How do I escape the torture and torment how do I ever tear apart

How do I find peace deep within me, but at the same time not feel ashamed

Knowing that today and every day, I’ll repeat yesterday for the most part

Over and over it always and forever goes and every single day I’m filled with shame

As the day begins and it grows and swells it never fails to fall apart

I try so hard to resist and fight but it becomes more and more strained

And I know that full well before this day is through that I’ll rip and tear and come apart

It’s the same as yesterday, always the same as yesterday and all my before days

I want this to stop so I try to scream, cry, but I’ll end up hurting myself and breaking apart

This horrible never ending and painful cycle of yesterday ways

I hold back the screams so no one can see or hear and I’ll just bury them deep inside

Wondering how long can I go on this path of yesterdays and what will happen to oneself

I can’t let anyone see so I hold the screams and pain so deep inside and only to myself do I cry

What would happen, do you think, if I just scream out loud, is there any way I will find myself

Will anyone care or even notice at all, that’s the real question and will anyone stand alongside

Quicker and quicker it feels, I know I am beginning to unravel at my very seams

I miss my joy of life and love and my smile, Lord what happened to my enjoyment of life

I’m afraid it’s lost forever it appears, never to return to me, swirling in the whirlwind screams

Swirling around forever cutting me so deep inside, leaving a trail of blood, just like a switchblade knife

Always turning, twisting, and turbulent it seems, but never does it go away or leave my dreams

My torture and torment are lost forever deep within me, running rife

Someone please help me, anyone at all, friend or foe, for I’ve lost all my self esteem

Help me find me my smile again and whatever you do, bring me some enjoyment in my life

But, I’m afraid my smile and enjoyment of life are lost to only my dark dreams

Hidden inside so deep, never seeing the light, and always slicing me like a knife

Slowly, deliberately I feel, it’s driving me to forever reside in that very dark place full of screams

Where I’m afraid I will forever be lost evermore, never to know the true meaning of my life

Helping Others Succeed

In my current position – our agency – we are here to assist others in becoming successful.  This could entail a wide variety of ways, such as: seeking employment; obtaining training; or learning computers.  Now mind you, these three categories cover a much larger area.  For example, seeking employment could mean help with a resume, how to fill out applications, creating cover letters, online applications, basic job search skills, where to even begin looking for job postings, and how to dress.

Our agency is also responsible for ensuring that individuals who receive cash assistance from the state – complete their required weekly hours of job search.  Most individuals, especially those who have a very limited work history, don’t even know where to begin.  It is our responsibility, as both a professional agency and as human beings, to help these individuals from the very first step to seeing them reach their goals.

It has come to my attention that as of late, some of “us” (meaning co-workers) have, for the lack of a better term, “plopped” these individuals in front of a computer and let them be. Most of these individuals will be spending 5 hours a day at our agency completing their required hours.  Five total hours in front of computer with no direction.  One can only go so far in job search sitting at a computer.  Statistics have shown that only 15% of individuals ever acquire a position through online applications (money.usnews.com/September 2014).

Someone explain to me how any individual is going to learn to become successful in front of a computer?? Especially if they need more assistance in other areas, such as, resumes and cover letters.

I just don’t understand how you could find this an acceptable solution.  I am hopeful that after bringing this situation to light yesterday, those individuals “in charge” of our customers, will understand the error in their judgement.  Of course, only time will tell.