Helping Others

In June of this year, I was fortunate enough to be placed in another office within our company.  Sure, it was a much busier office – coming from the Administration office in a city with a population of 1, 875 (where we could count the number of daily customers on one hand) to a city with a total population of 99,000.  Even just being in the office 3 days a week; it was amazing how many people came through the door every single day.

Individuals from all walks of life – all different – all the same – some young – some old – all trying to better themselves by finding and securing employment.  Myself, being employed by a Workforce Development Agency, our goal is to assist all job seekers locate employment.  Not always an easy task, but our end result for everyone is the same – employment.  Of course, we do not find them actual placements, we give them the tools they need to be successful in their job search efforts.  We also provide them with job leads to various openings in the area.  Which I’m sure you can imagine is quite a few in a city of 99,000.

At first, it really surprised me how many of these job seekers are pleasant, polite, and respectful when they are in the office.  With the amount of traffic flow, you would think every now and then someone would be irate, angry, or down right indignant. I have not found that to be the case at all.

Customer Service begins the moment someone walks in the door and I truly believe, this sets the tone for the duration of the visit. Upon arrival, every single person is greeted with a smile and asked about their day.  Plus, all repeat customers are greeted by name.  This places everyone at ease and makes them feel welcomed.

We may not always have the answers that they are searching for – but, I will always try and get them to the correct person who does hold the answers.  Whether that means sending them to another office, or finding a phone number or website, or calling another individual directly, they all have another avenue to pursue upon leaving.

This morning my boss walked in the door as I was trying to assist a customer find the answers he was seeking.  (Even though the answer he needed was not something that I could give him.)  When the customer left – I was told by my boss, “If anyone comes in asking that same question – there is nothing we can do for them. We did our part previously and we’re done.  Send them on their way. End of story.”

Wrong!!  This is not the end of the story…………..

I don’t believe that, not for a second – and the day when I stop caring about helping others – will be the day I retire and become a true hermit.  The boss can tell me whatever he thinks, but the truth is, I will continue to assist every single customer in the way that I feel is best.

I refuse to change my level of Customer Service for ANYONE and I will NOT leave a customer with unanswered questions/requests.

(I know you are probably thinking, you can’t, and shouldn’t, go against the boss.  Well, I do, when I strongly believe he is wrong.  I stand up for what I believe in, even if that means going up against the one person who can change my own employment status.)

As long as every single one of my customers feel as though they are headed in the right direction and they leave me smiling – that to me is truly Eminent Customer Service.

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Chase Your Dreams!

How many times have you woken up and dreaded getting out of bed in the morning.  I’ve been there too.  But, then as  your day progresses……you realize what a truly wonderful and productive day you  are having!  Chase your dreams, my friends, don’t let anyone and anything stand in your way.  Life is short and you should be happy while your living!

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15 Steps for Eminent Customer Service During the Holidays

 

How can we maintain our own sanity during the busiest shopping time of the year?  Here are 15 steps to help guide you during the holiday season.

  1. Breathe – take a deep breath and prepare yourself for the day at hand.   Remember ONE DAY AT A TIME!
  1. Plan Ahead – Sometimes taking a few minutes to prepare yourself and plan the tasks at hand  – is worth its weight in silver and gold!
  1. Be Flexible – Everyone who walks in – needs something different!
  1. Put Customers 1st – They chose to visit your establishment – honor their choice and embrace it!
  1. Focus on Customers not Sales – sounds backwards right?  Focusing on the individual will be profitable in the long run!
  1. Just Say Hello – A warm hello from a stranger will always make someone else smile!
  1. Make Your Customer Smile – Feeling welcomed and wanted will make that customer a repeat and loyal customer!
  1. Put Yourself in Their Shoes – Easy to do, if you choose to!
  1. Be Fast and Friendly – this will always bring your customer back again and again!
  2. Be Extra Patient– it’s the time of year when patience seems to run short for EVERYONE – remind yourself over and over to be patient!
  1. Keep Calm and Maintain a Positive Attitude – the best way to help your customer is to showcase a calm and positive demeanor at all times!
  1. Train Temporary Employees– nothing ruins customer service faster than one employee telling a customer one thing and another employee telling them something completely different! Everyone has to be on the same page at all times!
  1. Add Something Extra to Delight Customers– everyone likes to feel appreciated and you can show your customers appreciation by giving them a small token of your gratitude.  Nothing extravagant – a small candy cane or small gift!
  1. Have Fun– nothing makes the day drag on more than dreading your job and dreading the work at hand!
  1. BE THE EXAMPLE– Show your customers WHY they chose you and WHY they continue to return to your establishment!

Following these few simple steps on a daily basis will make your days easier and will remind your customers why they choose YOU!

It’s Here – Holiday Shopping Time….

Now is the time of year when all Customer Service Representatives need to take a collective deep breathe and charge full speed ahead.  This is the time where you can truly shine!  It is my true belief that if you put forth effort and kindness – it will be returned.

Now, I’m not naive enough to think that you won’t encounter that one person who ruins your entire day or your entire week – trust me I’ve met that person too! But, I also choose to be the one to rise above and treat that customer with respect and dignity no matter what.

Why you ask?  Because that’s how I EXPECT and DEMAND to be treated.  If I expect that level of service – I better be able to provide others with the same level when I’m in charge.

Spreading Joy

 

 

Being Thankful!

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It’s that time year!  It seems to get here faster and faster all the time.  It can be a time of year where you are truly grateful or a time of year when you are totally stressed.  Especially if you work in Customer Service.  It seems like customers get ruder and grow less impatient every year.

But, now is the time for Customer Service Representatives to give extra thanks! Take a deep breath and realize just how truly blessed you are!

There are so many things to be thankful for (don’t forget the small stuff)!

  1.  You have a job.  (I see individuals on a daily basis who are struggling to find employment.  They are extremely stressed trying to figure out how to provide for their families.)
  2. You have a vehicle.  ( I meet individuals on a daily basis who do not have reliable transportation.)
  3. You have a family. (Not everyone has someone to spend the holidays with.)
  4. You have your health. (So many individuals are struggling with their health on a daily basis.)
  5. You have support.  (If you are working, you have the support of co-workers; if you have a family, you have the support of your loved ones.)

Again, I urge you not to judge your customers on their looks or actions. You never know what struggles that individual is encountering.  Maybe today was the only day they could get a ride to your business. Or maybe, today was the only day they could physically get out of bed.  Maybe today, someone was able to loan them some money for the holidays.

You never know what is lurking behind their smile (or their scowl).

Take the higher road and give that person the ultimate Customer Service Experience!  They deserve it – and so do you!

I wish you all a very Happy, Healthy, and Loving Thanksgiving Holiday!

Cindy