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Navy Customer Service Manual
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Knowing Your Limitations
sick bay. He is just finishing the deck when in walks MM Boate. He is tightly gripping his left wrist while blood wells from a cut and drips onto the floor. “What’s  the  idea?  Can’t  you  see  the  ’Secured’  sign on  the  door,”  demands  HM  Doe? “What do you mean, secured? I cut my hand!” “Sorry about that, but I haven’t got time now to treat it—I have to finish up field day. Come back in about 30  minutes,  and  quite  dripping  blood  on  my  clean deck!” Does this seem farfetched? Not at all; it is an extreme example,  but  it  actually  happened. Routines  or  procedures  help  us  provide  more efficient customer service by enabling us to do jobs easier,   faster,   and   more   accurately.   However,   if following  a  routine  becomes  more  important  than providing service, you need to take a good, hard look at your job priorities. Routines are intended to improve service, not to hinder it. CUSTOMER  SERVICE Thus  far,  we  have  focused  our  discussion  on attitude. Although attitude is important when dealing with others, good attitude alone is not enough. The customer comes to the contact point for service-not camaraderie. What  would  be  your  reaction  in  the  following situation? You have gone to the dental clinic with a toothache. The DT meets you at the door with a smile, shakes your hand, shows you to a chair, and offers you a cup of coffee. You say, “Thanks just the same, but this tooth is driving me up the wall. Can you take care of it?’ The DT replies,  “Oh,  I  don’t  know  anything  about teeth—but  I’m  friendly.” This situation is ridiculous. You know that carrying out  your  responsibility  at  a  contact  point  requires professional   competence.   Professional   competence includes knowing what you can do, how to do it, and when to do it. KNOWING MEMBERS’ RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES All  Navy  members  have  certain  rights  and privileges  by  law.  You  have  the  responsibility  as  a contact point representative to know what these rights and privileges are and to whom they apply. Some customers choose not to take advantage of certain rights and privileges, while others may not be eligible for them; for example: You  may  have  no  dependents;  therefore,  you have no eligibility or need for dependents’ health care. You  may  choose  not  to  take  advantage  of available  educational  opportunities. You have too many years of service remaining to worry about the details of retirement. Even though some customers will not use the rights and privileges they are eligible for, others will. You must be prepared to answer their questions regardless of whether they intend to take advantage of them or not. Some  contact  representatives  feel  they  are  doing customers  a  favor  by  providing  information  about  these rights and privileges. They think they may grant or withhold such information as they wish. That should not be  the  case,  and  it  should  never  occur!  The  Navy provides these rights and privileges as incentives for enlistment   and   reenlistment   and   as   a form   of compensation.  Withholding  them  for  any  reason  except as  provided  by  law  undermines  members’  morale  and confidence  in  the  Navy  and  defeats  the  purpose  of providing  them. KNOWING  REGULATIONS After  the  customer  has  explained  a  problem,  you must then decide what you can do to solve it. You must have a thorough knowledge of pertinent regulations and directives if your decision is to be appropriate. One  thing  common  to  all  contact  points  is  the volumes of regulations, manuals, and directives that set 3-14

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