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Customer Service: The Art of Dealing with People
Personnelman 3 & 2 - Military manual for government personnel administration
Figure 1-3.—You hold the key to the treasure chest of knowledge for good customer service
Navy’s  ratings,  however,  are  involved  primarily  with providing  services  directly  to  personnel.  These  ratings include the AK, DK, DT, HM, LI, LN, MS, NC, PC, PN, RP, SH, SK, and YN. Although this chapter is intended for you, the PN, personnel in other ratings who are reading this TRAMAN can apply the same principles of providing good customer service while performing  their  jobs. Think back to some recent contact you have had with one or more of the personnel service ratings. How would you rate the service you received? You are a member of one of these ratings. How do you think your service  as  a  PN  would  be  rated  by  those  you  have served? Now, carry this one more step. What effect did this good or bad customer service from other people have on you? How would you respond to courteous treat- ment  and  efficient  action  as  opposed  to  a  “don’t  care” attitude? YOUR ROLE IN THE PERSONNEL OFFICE A customer seeking assistance in the personnel office can still be given good service even though it may  be  impossible  for  you  to  provide  the  desired results. People may ask for things or services to which they are not entitled or for which you may not have the authority  to  approve  or  grant.  In  these  cases,  providing good customer service refers to the quality of service you can provide rather than whether or not you are able to comply with all the person’s wishes. When a person seeks assistance in the personnel office and you do not provide it or you give the person the “runaround,” “fast shuffle,” or a “Don’ t bother me” response, you are relaying to this person any one of the following im- pressions about your attitude concerning his or her needs: “You  are  not  an  important  individual.” “Your request or problem is not important to me.” “You don’t know what you are talking about; I do !” “I  don’t  care  about  your  problems;  I’ve  got problems of my own.” “I have more important things to do.” “I am having a bad day today.” As a PN assigned to a personnel office, think about the kind of effect you will have on this person who is, after all, just asking for assistance. Many of the people entering the Navy do not have a clear idea of Navy life is all about. Their perceptions have what been 1-6 influenced by friends, parents, movies, books, and TV programs; a sense of responsibility to their country (patriotism); the glamour of the uniform and tradition; the opportunity to travel; and the desire to make it on their own. They have all been screened and generally are the type of people the Navy wants—intelligent, healthy,  and  motivated.  They  have  a  lot  to  learn  and still  have  much  hard  work  and  usually  some  growing up to do. But they have a high potential for becoming valuable Navy members who will value their roles and status in the Navy and the contributions they can make to the Navy and their country. What happens along the way to make some Navy members  count  the  days  until  they  will  get  out? Granted, some people will never like the Navy, regard- less of the changes made for their benefit. Thus, there are a large number of members who each year bid the Navy farewell. On the other hand, some of these mem- bers might have chosen the Navy as a career had it not been for the frustrations and disappointments they encountered during their first enlistment. Everyone has inconveniences and disappointments to contend with, and young sailors are not exempt from these experiences. Nevertheless, young sailors do not expect and should not have to contend with a lack of service. The same is true for all other customers. The effect of bad service in a personnel office is much more lasting than the momentary anger or dis- gust felt by the recipient. You can be sure the customer will remember you if you provided him or her with bad service. You can also be sure the customer will tell his or her friends about the bad service you provided. The frustration and resentment bad service can cause will stay with that person in the form of his or her general attitude  toward  the  Navy. On the other hand, good service contributes to a good attitude in a person. A person who provides good customer  service  has  qualitative  and  enviable  personal characteristics that are indicative of that person’s hu- man relations capabilities, knowledge, interest, and concern  for  others.  These  qualities  are  especially  im- portant for you, the PN. By providing good service, you  make  friends,  and  you  build  excellent  rapport between you and the customer. The Navy person who receives good service will remember you as being a professional customer service representative who is always willing and able to help. You can be sure this person will tell his or her friends about you and rec- ommend you to them whenever they need to come to the  personnel  office. In   your   career,   the   importance   of   providing excellent service to Navy people cannot be overstated. You should always strive to provide the best customer

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