reasonable wait when they know that you are aware of
their presence, but they should not have to beat on the
counter to get your attention.
Common courtesy goes beyond what we are
required to do. It is a voluntary expression of respect for
anothers rights or feelings. It is opening a door for
someone heavily laden with packages; extending
military courtesy and respect for a person rather than
merely extending the required recognition; treating the
customer as a person and the problem as important
rather than the jerk with a stupid question. Answering
the questions that are asked requires a sizable amount
of patience. It wouldnt be so bad if you didnt have to
answer the same ones over and over.
Some of the questions are simple, others are hard,
and some are ridiculous. All deserve the courtesy of an
answer, even the stupid question. By answering the
stupid question, the customer may realize that the wrong
words were used, and the question can be rephrased to
obtain the desired information. It may be a signal that
more information is needed. For example, when a PO3
asks, Hey, can I ship my furniture now?, he really
means something quite different. Sure, the furniture can
be shipped now or anytime. What is really being asked
is, Am I now entitled to ship my furniture at
You must keep in mind that, no matter how simple
or unimportant you consider a request, the customer
depends upon you to provide a service. Yes, it requires
a little effort on your part to answer a question or look
up a reference, but that extra effort or interest is a mark
of good service.
Another element of cooperation required is
responding to the customers needs. They will often
need information or assistance from another office
before you can act on their request. You can send them
on a wild goose chase to get it, or you can provide
them with specific instructions on what to get, whereto
get it, and how to get it. You might also make a phone
call so that they will be expected.
To exercise control properly, you should know what
is going on at all times. Learn to work at one thing and,
at the same time, keep an eye and ear out for what your
people are doing. Monitoring is necessary to have a
degree of uniformity and effectiveness. Just the fact that
you are paying attention to what they do has a beneficial
effect on the atmosphere of the office.
Be careful how you supervise. It is a curious thing
that, while most of us like to feel that our seniors know
what is going on, we strongly resent the sense that
someone is watching our every move. We especially
resent being watched if we think the watcher is
constantly looking for something to complain about.
As a supervisor, you should refrain from interfering
with your personnel when they are attempting to tackle
a problem and identify its cause. When you see that the
best solution has not been found, give them an
opportunity to ask for advice. Keep in mind that being
tactful in handling situations is very important to your
personnel. Do not belittle what they have done. Use a
work situation as a training opportunity. Supervision
that does not interfere with performance is an excellent
method that can be used to monitor the effectiveness of
a customer service office.
As the senior Yeoman in charge of a customer
service office, you must be aware of as well as monitor
personnel practices and skills in the following areas:
l The check-in and check-out process should be
simplified to reduce to the absolute minimum the
number of offices where members must present
themselves when reporting on board or being detached.
The Detaching (Departing) Endorsement to Orders,
NAVCOMPT Form 3067, and Reporting (Arrival)
Endorsement to Orders, NAVCOMPT Form 3068, must
contain an authenticating officers signature (figs. 7-1
and 7-2) and the proper copies must be provided to the
disbursing office. We can assume that an officer, having
just reported, perhaps with leave en route, is interested
in getting financial matters taken care of promptly.
Therefore, the necessary papers should be submitted to
the disbursing office as soon as possible. Make sure that
a receipts and transfer check-off sheet is used to
complete all actions.
l There will be times when your personnel are
snowed under with work. Appointments, special counter
hours, and purpose of visit chits should be used to
speed service and reduce the customers waiting time.
Make sure the operating schedule is flexible enough to
provide for emergency situations and is never used as a
device to limit service.
l Private filing systems for retain files may work
fine and require less time for the individual who is
working in the receipts and transfers or in the
reenlistments or separations section; however, that