A Navy spouse, husband or wife, has a strong
influence on the decision of the member to reenlist (ship
over) or return to the civilian sector. That is not
unreasonable. After all, the problems that arise in a
marriage are best handled by both partners.
When the husband or wife is absent because of
deployments, training, or upkeep, the spouse may be
unfamiliar with Navy procedures or with the area. These
unknowns may further complicate problems that
already exist. The Navy spouse doesnt need added
complications to an already stressful situation. This is
no time for wrong answers or indifferent service.
Therefore, when your customers are Navy dependents,
make sure they receive the services to which they are
PITFALLS TO AVOID
In the previous section we discussed why a good
attitude is important to customer satisfaction. We will
now consider some specific mistakes you might make
as a contact point representative in handling customer
needs. These mistakes grow out of negative attitudes
toward the customer, the customers problem, the Navy,
and their job.
JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS
Quite often you may jump to a conclusion because
you feel you have all the facts needed to make a decision.
But when you jump to a conclusion, you are actually
making a decision based on incomplete information. It
is like having one half of the pieces to a puzzle! When
you do that, you often ignore additional information
provided by the customer.
Jumping to a conclusion for routine needs might
save time, but it can lead to misunderstanding. When
you make assumptions, you quit listening and begin to
organize yours thoughts for your response to the
customer. As a result you may miss information that
could be important to solving the problem. Because of
your misunderstanding, you then may be unable to
provide the correct service.
You have a better knowledge of your field than the
customer has. Therefore, you might assume that you
know the customers need before the customer finishes
Earlier, we discussed the customer who has only a
vague idea about the nature of a problem. Conclusion
jumping seldom helps this type of customer. You have
to use tactful, skillful questioning to properly identify
what this customer is trying to tell you.
Case Number 7 illustrated some conclusions arrived
at by both the customer and the DK. In the customers
case, SA Doe was influenced by wishful thinking. His
shipmate had told him he could draw special pay; the
DK agreed. The DK assumed that SA Doe knew how
much he could draw and that he knew the procedures
for drawing the special pay.
You are responsible for giving customers all the
facts to help them receive the service they need; you
shouldnt assume that the customers already know that
information. Likewise, customers shouldnt jump to
conclusions before hearing all the facts. In this case, the
customer was misled by incomplete information, and
the contact point representative initially did nothing to
provide the customer with the needed information.
CONTROLLING PERSONAL REACTIONS
You may have adverse reactions to the customer.
You may not like the persons appearance, speech, or
attitude. These reactions can hinder you in providing the
quality of service that the customer needs or deserves.
Attitude is probably the most common cause of
adverse reactions. Maintaining a professional manner is
difficult when the customer is cynical, overbearing, or
a smart aleck. However you must overcome your
personal reaction to the customers attitude and redirect
your energy to providing the needed service-isnt that
what it is all about?
Customers who have an extreme dislike for the
Navy often express that feeling through their attitude or
approach. Their negative attitude or approach, in turn,
evokes a negative reaction. The customer sometimes
unconsciously displays a negative attitude or approach
to produce results that will justify the poor opinion the
customer has of the Navy. If the customer receives poor
service because of the negative attitude or approach,
then a negative opinion is justified.
You will probably remember a customer who gave
you a rough time on a previous visit, and that memory
may affect your response when you serve that customer
again. Your idea of helping may then be to help the
so-and-so over the side. You may see that as solving your
problem, but it would not contribute very much to the
Not all personal reactions are violent; they may be
mild reactions caused by unconcern or lack of interest.
However, these reactions can be just as deadly to a
customers satisfaction. For example, everyone
possesses a feeling of self-worth. If the contact point
representative denies this self-worth by showing a lack
of concern or interest, the customer may show the same
lack of concern or interest toward the Navy and its
representatives as a defense.