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When you think of customer service, what comes to mind? Probably the person on the phone, someone looking to buy your product or service, or the person you’re face-to-face with, right? Well, how about your supervisor or whoever you report to? How about the person who hired you to perform a job? Let’s say you’re a real estate agent, hired to sell a home. Isn’t the seller your customer/client?
Most likely, if you are in the real estate arena, or some sort of contractor, you’ve been thinking along these terms all the while, right? But for those who clock in at a job, this train of thought was probably never a consideration.
Simply put, anyone who signs your paycheck or has any influence as to whether or not you keep working in your position, is your customer. Therefore, you’re responsible for not only keeping the purchaser (so-to-speak) happy, but also the person paying you happy, right?
I figured this out, a long time ago, when I was a babysitter at around age 12. I was babysitting an 8 or 9 month old, who was very happy with me. We played, “talked” and “sang”. She was apparently pleased with how we got along. Well, on my first day, her father came home earlier than expected, I’m sure as a sort of I-Spy move.
I had just put the baby down for a nap, after a couple of hours of playtime. I was taking a breather before cleaning up our mess. The door opened and so did my mouth! Long story short, I didn’t get called back to that job. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why.
Too often, people take their positions for granted. One thing I noticed, during the many years I worked in an office environment, is that people who conduct themselves a certain way with the supervisors, treat the customers the same way. In certain, high-stress companies, for example, a call center, you can easily figure out who will be fired, promoted or stay at the same level. Everyone says all the right things to get the job. What they’re willing to do to keep the job tends to change very quickly.
Customer service, in most situations, has to be handled delicately. When you leave your house with drama on your mind and a “whatever” attitude, you won’t do well in these types of environments. Even when going to work at a drug store or daycare, you have to begin your day in the right frame of mind (see post ‘Customer Un-Service‘). Otherwise, there’s a good chance you will be hopping from job-to-job. If your nerves are already on edge, how long will it take for someone, anyone to “work your last nerve”? Then you’re ready to walk out?
I can’t say it enough, great customer starts from within. If you’re blessed to have a great supervisor and work environment, WONDERFUL! Do whatever it takes to move up in the company. But if you’re in the average work environment, you know there will be some issues that you’ll have to face on a regular basis. Be ready to face the music mentally, physically and spiritually.
How do you get prepared for the issues you might face at work?