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A Customer Service Story

An old friend of mine, Ron Jette from Adams Jette Marketing & Communications, sends me his company newsletter on a regular basis. They are generally informative and interesting, I hope he doesn't mind me sharing this story about customer service.

Does your company treat its clients or prospective clients like this? The good OR the bad?

The power of treating people well is hard to quantify ... one bad experience in today's networked word can lead to bad stories being circulated around the globe. Conversely treat people well and its the good news stories that people will hear.

Worth thinking about!

Do you know who your friends are?
by Ron Jette

I went to the local (name deleted to protect the guilty) store on the weekend and received both the worst and the best customer service I've seen in quite some time.

In a nutshell, the first employee couldn't help me and made no effort to try. My questions were met with grunts, I-don't-knows or the ultimate brush-off, "you'll have to call customer service to get that information." "All I do," he finished with, "is sell stuff."

Wait a minute. Aren't you in the customer-service business?

Then, along came Stephanie. "Of course," she said. "I can take care of that for you." When she didn't know the answer, she found it--immediately. As it turned out, there were some things only the call centre representatives could answer.

"Here, let me call them for you," she said helpfully. Five minutes later, I was on my way out the door with all the answers I needed--and a smile on my face.

The differences in their approaches were obvious. One treated me like an interruption while the other treated me as, well, someone in need of help. It was as simple as that. One cared about me while the other didn't. One saw me as a possible transaction and, when it failed to materialize, he lost interest. Stephanie saw me as much more than cash in the till. And it showed.

She treated me more like a good friend.

A friend has a problem, you help. You don't worry about yourself. You put yourself in their shoes to determine what you can do to make your friend's life better or ease his or her pain.

The relationship with your customers, program participants, stakeholders or anyone else who supports what you do, is no different.

Treat them as you would your best friend. Because in the work world, they really are.