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Figure 1-3.—You hold the key to the treasure chest of knowledge for good customer service
Personnelman 3 & 2 - Military manual for government personnel administration
Role of the Customer - 14214_19
information  chest  that  contains  the  facts  you  need  to help a person seeking assistance. Recognize that the personal service requirements are not the same for everyone.  The  senior  petty  officer  will  come  to  you  for service, but, because of his or her experience, will not require  the  same  explanations,  interpretations,  or advice  that  a  younger,  less  experienced  member requires.  Since  the  more  experienced  members  are aware  of  the  services  to  which  they  are  entitled,  they are  less  likely  to  accept  poor  service.  Although  all members depend on others for service, the greater need probably is felt by the young men and women serving their first enlistment, or by their dependents. It  is  apparent  from  members’  comments concerning  the  service  provided  by  some  personnel  in customer  service-related  fields  that  the  service  needs to  improve.  As  a  first  step  in  determining  how improvements   can   be   made,   let’s   analyze   the following factors concerning the desires and feelings of our l l l l customers: They want to be regarded as individuals. They feel that, as persons, they are worthy of more attention than you would give to mechani- cal, routine duties. They want you to treat them equally and fairly, to be concerned with their welfare, and to be considerate of their time. They  recognize  their  lack  of  experience  and knowledge  and  rely  on  more  experienced  mem- bers, such as yourself, for advice and proper action in their behalf. These  examples  all  relay  one  message:  Improved human relations are essential if customer service is to improve. Improving Your Contact Skills To have a skill is the ability to do something well as  the  result  of  talent,  training,  or  practice,  or  a combination of these. A multitude of skills comes into play  in  your  day-to-day  life—the  professional  skills  of your rating, your military skills, and the skills you use in  your  off-duty  activities. We are concerned here with yet another type of skill, face-to-face skills. These are skills that enable you to skills deal effectively with people. Basically, these include  the  ability  to  listen  attentively, 1-8 effectively use eye contact, and work with and speak to every individual as a person and  not as an object. The  structure  of  the  Navy  tends  to  foster  an impersonal  attitude  in  its  members.  We  go  where  we are sent. We do what we are told. Most of the decisions that affect our lives are made by people we never even see.   This   type   of   relationship   does   not   involve face-to-face contact, but this is not the relationship that exists aboard ships or at shore stations. Here you are in  face-to-face  contact  with  the  customer;  here  the relationship  becomes  personal. It is because of this personal interaction that you are required to have face-to-face skills if you are to be an effective PN. People who are successful in sales prefer to work on commission because it provides a reward in proportion to their skills and efforts-the most important being their face-to-face skills. They listen to the customer to understand his or her needs; they  speak  to  the  customer  in  a  way  the  customer understands; and they make every effort to make sure the customer is satisfied. Your effectiveness as the contact point depends on how  well  you  listen,  speak,  and  respond  to  the customer’s needs and how well you acquire and use face-to-face skills. Examining Your Attitudes Attitudes can be described as the tendency to move toward a situation or away from it; to be either positive or negative in our outlook or feelings toward a subject; or  to  express  a  like  or  dislike  (based  on  habit,  a previously   formed   opinion,   or   a   current   snap judgment)  for  someone  or  something.  A  good illustration   of   the   positive-negative   outlook   was provided  sometime  ago  by  a  television  commercial  for the U.S. Peace Corps. Look at the glass in figure 1-4. Do you see the filled portion or the empty portion of the glass? Do you see “what is” and resolve to make the most of it? Or, do you see and resent “what is not”? Our  attitudes  cannot  be  measured  or  graded,  but the effects or results of our attitudes can be. The effects of our attitudes are apparent in our actions, words, and deeds. You may have said or heard someone else say, “That person has a bad attitude.” What does this mean? How was this opinion formed? Was it formed as the result  of  the  way  that  person  has  acted  toward co-workers or customers, or as a result of not having completed  his  or  her  assigned  work?

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