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Recognizing the Customerís Needs
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Yeoman Basic
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The Custiomer's First Impression
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  YN.  Listen to   the   customer   to   understand   his   or   her needs;  speak  to  the  customer  in  a  way  the customer  understands;  and  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 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? Why  are  we  bothering  to  talk  about attitudes?   After   all,   people   are   people,   and you  cannot  change  human  nature.  This  is  not true!  Human  nature  is  constantly  changing  as attitudes  change. How  do  attitudes  change? First, it takes  you to recognize that a need for change  in  attitude  is  desirable.  Second,   you have   to   do   something   about   it   or   take appropriate  action  to  make  the  change.  Only you can do it.  No  other  person  can  force  you to  change.  Changing  your  attitude  is  just  like setting  goals  for  yourself;  you  must  combine vision   with   action.   It   is   like   wanting   to   do something,  determining  what  needs  to  be done,  and  doing  it. ROLE   OF   THE   CUSTOMER Before   we   talk   about   the   role   of   the customer,   let’s   first   consider   the   term customer.  It  is  a  familiar  word,  and  all  of  us in  the  Navy  are  frequently  considered  to  be customers.  We  often  go  to  other  offices  for assistance.  As  customers,  we  always  expect to  be  provided  the  very  best  possible  service. In  reality,  we  do  not  always  receive  the  kind of  service  we  deserve  or  expect  from  those serving  behind  the  counter. Your role as a customer is to be courteous, tactful,  and  respectful  to  the  person  providing assistance  to  you.  When  you  make  the  person assisting   you feel   important,   you   are encouraging  that  person  to  be  more  aware  of the   expected   service   he   or   she   needs   to provide.  If  you  feel  that  the  person  is  not providing  you  with  the  assistance  that  you seek  or  expect,  it  is  your  responsibility  to bring  the  matter  to  the  attention  of  a  more senior  and  knowledgeable  individual,  such  as the  person’s  supervisor.  As  the  customer,  you should  never  leave  an  office  unsatisfied.  You should  leave  that  office  feeling  that  you  can always  return  at  any  time  and  be  confident that  they  will  provide  you  with  the  assistance you  need.  This  is  a  realistic  expectation. Now,  let’s  change  your  position  from  the person seeking assistance to that of the person behind  the  counter  providing  assistance.  Just imagine  how  customers  feel  when  they  come to  your  office  and  they  do  not  receive  the  help they   need   or   deserve.   Remember   one   thing, always  put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Think  of  how  you,  as  a  customer,  would  like to  be  treated.  If  you  remember  this,  you  will become   a   more   conscientious   YN   and   you will  certainly  try  to  provide  the  very  best customer  service  possible.  Take  care  of  those who   need   help. If  you  do  not  have  the answers,  find  out  who  does,  and  get  the answers. 1-9

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