Customer Service - Telephone Number Quick References
[This is a managerial lesson in customer service. The details on why it's a managerial perspective are at the end of the Hub.]
The Basics. One essential skill that you learn if you work in agency that has a telephone is to never turn away a customer - especially if the customer calls the wrong telephone number.
Let's say you are the person who answers the phone at an Army Base Arts and Crafts Shop, and someone mistakenly calls your office to ask for the Community Activity Center (the "CAC"). You are extremely busy at the time and the CAC is located downstairs in your building.
What to Do, What to Do?
- Do you politely tell them that they have the wrong number and hang up on the customer. I know that sounds negative - but that's because it is - negative.
- Or, do you find the telephone number for the CAC customer, who could also be a potential Arts and Crafts customer if you treat them the right way. The person calling could also be your new boss calling around her or his various new offices to check on customer service - now there's a positive thought! (I actually had this happen once, although it was in the form of the new boss walking around checking office opening hours, and lucky me, I asked the new boss if they needed assistance, without knowing who they were).
The solution is to have a phone book by the telephone at all times. Another trick is to create small quick reference laminated telephone lists to post near telephones. List all the phone numbers in your building, higher headquarters, and subordinate offices if you have any. Heck, maybe list the speed-dial Fire, MP and other Emergency numbers, too. You don't have to print the whole phone book onto a 3x5 card, that destroys the purpose of printing a phonebook. Do this during down time - obviously not when you are super busy, aye.
Business Owners Like It. The reason you should make anyone who calls a happy camper if possible, is because you come off as lazy if you don't. The reason business owners care about stuff like this, is because they are interested in profiting, whether in the normal capitalistic sense of the word - or in the sense that people who are in charge of bases and garrisons realize that their bottom line involves a numbers game involving highly proactive customer service provided to community members to create efficiencies in the form of less complaints.
And so do Managers. Either way, the basis for understanding that customer service of this variety is a managerial lesson is because it can end up on someone's performance evaluation in a number of interesting ways. Foremost, a smart new or old employee who is interested in upward mobility could install the telephone quick reference cards and phone books specifically to create a performance evaluation or resume bullet.
Neat little trick, aye.
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