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Page Title: Going Beyond Your Realm
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Summary - 14261_25
providing either the friendly atmosphere or the good   service-you   must   provide   both. When  a  friendly,  helpful  atmosphere  is encountered  at  the  contact  point,  the  customer is  put  at  ease  and  may  be  able  to  state  the problem  more  accurately. Then   you   are expected   to   take   constructive   action   to   help the  customer  correct  his  or  her  problem.  But, some   customer   service   representatives   think that  their  job  is  to  keep  the  customers  smiling and  get  rid  of  them  as  soon  as  possible.  True, the  customer  goes  away  happy,  but  the  happy attitude   will   not   last.   Sooner   or   later,   that customer  will  have  to  return  because  nothing was   done   about   the   problem.   You   can   bet this  customer  will  not  be  in  a  good  frame  of mind. In  helping  people,  you  will  discover  that a  considerable  amount  of  time  and  effort  is required to   deal   with   some   customers’ problems  or  needs. In   such   instances,   you may  decide  that  it  will  be  easier  for  you  if you  convince  the  customer  that  no  action  is really  necessary.  But  this  response  will  have an   even   worse   effect   than   denying   the service  to  the  customer  because  you  are,  in fact,   denying   the   reality   of   the   customer’s problem. If  a  customer  requests  and  is entitled  to  a  service,  it  is  your  responsibility to  provide  it. When   you   can   say   to   a customer,    “It’s   all   taken   care   of,”   you   are promising   that   person   that   all   necessary actions  have  been  completed.  This  is  a  good response if it is the truth. If it is not true, you have   done   a   disservice-not   a   service-to your   customer,   your   office,   your   rating,   and the  Navy.  Have  you  ever  said  to  a  customer, “Yes,  everything  is  taken  care  or  when  in fact  it  was  not?  If  so,  you  should  realize  that this    is    a    bad    way    of    doing    business. Remember,  you  should  be  both  tactful  and truthful  when  you  deal  with  your  customers. GOING   BEYOND   YOUR   REALM If  you  seldom  make  a  mistake,  you  may find  it  difficult  to  understand  why  other people   frequently   make   more   mistakes. Mistakes   can   result   from   many   different situations. For   example,   heavy   workloads, inexperienced  personnel,  unfamiliar  situations, and   carelessness   can   all   contribute   to   the likelihood  of  errors.  Errors  may  disappear, but  they  do  not  go  away.  The  problem  with all errors is that they must be corrected—often at  some  later  date,  at  a  different  command,  or by   someone   else.   When   you   have   to   correct an  error  that  someone  else  made,  you  will  be tempted  to  "sound  off"  about  the  person  who made   the   mistake.   But   whether   or   not   you express   your   feeling,   you   must   spend   the same  amount  of  effort  to  correct  the  error.  It is  proper  to  tell  your  customer  that  a  mistake was  made  and  explain  the  conditions—where and   when—the   error   was   made.   Although you  may  feel  embarrassed  to  explain  to  your customer  that  a  mistake  was  made  by  your office,  you  nevertheless  must  do  this  as  soon as  the  problem  is  identified. Appropriate steps  must  be  taken  to  correct  the  problem immediately.   If   the   problem   was   made   by another  office,  correct  it  promptly.  In  both cases,   there   is   no   need   to   “cry   over   spilled milk.”  Just  correct  the  problem. Another   area   in   which   we   sometimes overstep  our  bounds  is  expressing  criticism  or disapproval  of  official  Navy  policy,  command policy, and   divisional   procedures   and instructions. You  do  not  have  to  agree  with all  of  them.  In  fact,  discussing  them  among your  co-workers  can  have  positive  results—a change   in   procedures,   a   better   flow   of information,  a  better  understanding  of  policy, or  the  improved  ability  to  help  the  customer. Expressing  your  adverse  opinion  about  them to   the   customer,   however,   serves   no   good purpose.   When   a customer requests something  that  must  be  denied  because  of current  policy  or  regulations,  frustration  and resentment   are   natural   reactions. If  you express  your  disapproval  or  criticism  of  this policy  or  regulation,  it  only  serves  to  increase the  feeling  of  resentment  or  frustration  in  the customer.   You   have   not   helped.   You   have just  made  it  harder  for  the  customer  to  accept 1-14

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