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THAT STITCH IN TIME™ - Creating Extraordinary Customer Service

Back a few years ago my daughter (she was living in Hawaii) called after a discouraging & negative experience at a school conference for one of her children. She wanted to know if the problem was with her (because this wasn’t the 1st time or place this type of situation had occurred) or was it them?


I told her that unfortunately she may have to get used to it because she was talking about the poor customer service that is the standard today in too many businesses & organizations in too many locations.


In my part time employment I spoke at many locations about the need for foster parents. Recruiting new parents is an ongoing challenge, much more so than retaining the wonderful foster parents already volunteering.


There, as in my Training with Marta business I make sure to ask people “what do you need” & follow up with “how am I doing”?

I’m happy to say that people are pleased. There’s no magic involved & it isn’t difficult. I make every effort to provide what I call “Extraordinary Customer Hospitality”. When it is what I would want, that’s what I want to give.


So check the “Silver Sixteen™” that follows.

I know we’re all busy; management often has to cut staff to a minimum number to maximize financial resources. That makes it hard. Not doing these things early, from the start & regularly makes it harder.


Popular sayings are around for a reason. One I think of often (& didn’t practice as often as I now plan to) is “a stitch in time saves nine”. When I don’t repair that tiny little hole in a favorite shirt it becomes irrepairable & gets thrown away.


Sooo, thanks to everyone I work for & with. I plan to up my level of hospitality. Tell me what you want. It benefits me to serve.


The SILVER SIXTEEN™ - Providing Extraordinary Customer Hospitality

  1. Breathe. When we don't get enough air we stop thinking & only react.

  2. Refresh yourself. It's nearly imporssible to give to others what you have yet to receive.

  3. Talk with people not at them. “I” relaxes them & helps them to listen. “You” erects auto-defensive barriors.

  4. Say it in a different way when it’s not clear at 1st. Don’t just repeat yourself. Repeating doesn’t make the unclear any clearer.

  5. Know your limits ahead of time. When you know you don’t have the authority to make something right: a. know who does,          b. stop them from wasting time telling you what they’ll have to retell someone else, (can’t think of anything more  frustrating c. get them to the right person as quickly as possible & d.follow-up.

  6. Say what you can & will do, not what you can’t or won’t.

  7. Start using the words when instead of if; use and instead of but. If is a fantasy. But cancels everything that came before. Think about it!

  8. Sometimes listening to them blow of steam is enough.

  9. Plan ahead. Ignoring what may become a problem is sure to become a problem. More fantasy thinking.

  10. Solve a small portion of the problem even when you can’t solve it all.                                                                                             That 1st step may give you insight to the next steps to be taken. It also provides immediate relief.

  11. Honor people, know their birthdays, their anniversaries. Celebrate with them.

  12. Thank people. They don’t have to use your services (foster care program, bank, store, doctor office).

  13. Smile at people. Find ways to laugh with them. It may be the only joy they experience that day.

  14. Keep your commitments & keep people informed.

  15. The anger that people appear to express is really fear. When you view them as afraid (that they won’t get what they need or they’ll be late, etc.) you won't erect self-protective barriers & you’ll deal with them in a totally different, more effective way.

  16. Enjoy! When you don’t like what you are doing it shows. Yes, we must all work & we aren’t all lucky enough to secure work in an area of our passion. We can, though, experience our passion outside of our jobs if need be. Start a hobby, volunteer in the area you love, share your enthusiasm with others.                                                                                                                   Bring the passion to your work from where ever you experience it & your customers benefit too.

©2008 Training with Marta - Marta Varee Pearson

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