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Page Title: Toward the Customer
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NEGATIVE  ATTITUDE  POSITIVE  ATTITUDE Those  dumb  kids  don’t Because of these kids’ know  what  they  want. inexperience, I can see the importance  of  my  services. Don’t  bother  me! May I help you? If you have a negative attitude toward your job, have you stopped to ask yourself why, and what can be done about it? Consider the following examples: Are you in a job that doesn’t fully challenge you. Do you have too much time on your hands? Use this time as an opportunity to sharpen your skills to better serve at your particular contact point. You may even start looking at the demands of jobs that are more responsible. Tolay’s Navy is becoming smaller; and along with that, the number of people who are willing to do more than the bare minimum is becoming smaller. Those who are willing to do more  are  far  from  being  suckers.  They  are  special in the sense that they obtain satisfaction from doing their job well. Do you view your job as being routine? Do you think it offers no challenge? If either is true, research the overall purpose or objective of your job to see how  it  fits  into  the  mission  of  your  activity  or command. You will not only gain an appreciation for the importance of your job, you may qualify yourself for a more responsible position. If you are job dissatisfied, look around for a job you would prefer. The next step would be to qualify yourself for that job. To illustrate this fact, supply was fortunate to have a conscientious SKSN. He had mastered several rather complex accounting procedures  through  research,  practice,  and  personal guidance. Because of his initiative, when the SK1 assigned  to  the  accounting  department  was transferred,  the  SKSN  was  immediately  assigned his duties. The SKSN saw the job as a challenge and worked hard to get it—so can you. Regardless  of  how  you  answered  these  questions, you will nevertheless communicate your attitude toward your job to your customers. Your customers will quickly sense your attitude from your speech and manner. TOWARD THE CUSTOMER.—  Your attitude toward the customer relates closely to your attitude toward  your  job.  The  customer  quickly  senses  your attitude from your speech and manner. Have  you  ever  ignored  customers  when  they entered your office to try to impress them with how important or how busy you were? Were the customers impressed?  No  doubt!  But,  not  as  you  may  have expected. They were probably more impressed with your lack of concern for their needs. When a customer comes to you for help, a perceived level of confidence in your ability to provide it already exists. Offensive language or a superior attitude will quickly undermine this confidence. “Speaking  down”  implies  that  you  consider  the customer to be less than your equal. That attitude may make the customer feel that the service you provide is less than your best. The language you use can give the impression that you are speaking down, so avoid using language  that  might  be  unfamiliar  to  customers.  You need to know what language to use, when to use it, and how  to  use  it.  When  engineering  or  deck  division personnel come into the office for information, you must use words they can understand. We will speak more about stereotyping later but for now, we want to issue a word of caution about its effect on the customer. Stereotyping is the practice of fitting people  and  things  into  preconceived  molds.  For  Navy members, it is also the practice of fitting members of ratings or occupations into an established “norm.” The fallacy of this practice is that hardly anyone fits into that norm. The best way to avoid stereotyping is to recognize the contribution each rating makes to the Navy. True, a person  outside  your  rating  may  not  understand  every aspect of your specialty; but how proficient are you in that  person’s  specialty? Try  to  identify  whether  you  have  the  habit  of stereotyping  your  customers.  Then  take  steps  to overcome that habit. Though you may not be aware of the habit, the CUSTOMER IS AWARE OF IT. TOWARD THE CUSTOMERS’ NEEDS.—  The customers’ needs will span the continuum from the ridiculous,   through   the   routine,   to   the   difficult. However, these categories reflect your opinion of the needs  and  requests—not  the  customers’.  These  needs, requests, and problems are important to customers; otherwise, they would not be there. 3-3

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