Though my department does not have a dedicated IT specialist anymore, there is a small group of individuals that services our particular area of campus. Out of three desktop support personnel, two of them know exactly zero members of our staff, are severely lacking in response/response time, and let's just say that small talk is not their strong suit. The third individual however knows the name of everyone in my department. He also responds almost immediately to every inquiry sent his way, even if it's to say that he is working somewhere else, but will be by at an approximate time later. What is his best quality? When problems arise he doesn't mutter under his breath and he takes the time to not only address the issue, but to explain to the staff where the problem originated in terms they can understand. Who do you think is going to get the better reviews when their boss calls around to the various departments for feedback?
One of the things that I always find interesting is when someone says something to the effect of, "Yeah, well I'm not in customer service." Maybe it's time to take another look at your business model. Aren't we all in some form of customer service? Whether they are internal or external, we are all serving someone as a customer base. How likely are we to return to the doctor that spends 30 seconds explaining what's wrong with us vs. the one that takes the time to break down all the angles. I think we have all had that fantastic experience AS a customer somewhere whether it's at a doctor's office, with an IT guy, or at a retail establishment. If they didn't make you a customer for life, then at the very least they significantly increased their positive word-of-mouth. In an age where information and opinion travels instantaneously to millions of potential customers, how can you afford not to put your best face forward? I mean, we are all busy, but are we ever too busy to go the extra mile for our customers?
Can your operation afford not to?
Shaun Bossio is the Assistant Business Manager and ProShop Manager at Boston University FitRec.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org