Monday, July 14, 2014

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Yes, it is that time of year again. That time of year when I forget that I am (practically) a native and  have lived most of my entire life right here. I'm sure I sound pathetic when I whine about the heat when you consider with the exception of:

The first twelve months of my life when I lived in San Jose;
The 45 weeks of summer(s) I spent in Boise;
The 8 or 10 weeks of winter I spent in Boise;
The week of spring I spent in Hawaii;
The week of winter I spent in Europe;

I have spent my entire life in the valley. Yes, I am girl raised in the Sacramento Valley. I grew up playing in the sunshine and splashing in the rain. I have driven in fog so thick you couldn't see the steering wheel and I have felt the shake, rattle and roll of earthquakes. I've been through tornado warnings and hail the size of baseballs. I've survived floods and drought. I've even laughed in the rain and tried to capture snowflakes in my hand.

Sacramento pretty much has amazing weather. Until the heat is turned up. One year we had 30 days in a row with temperatures over 100*. Of course that preceded a winter with nearly 6 weeks of non-stop rain. The rain, the cold air. The crispness of a fresh morning as the day dawns wrapped in an icy splendor of crystalline mist clinging to roof tops and lawns --- everything looks so sleepy and magical. Even the wind doesn't bother me. Bring it on! Turn up the volume and let the thunder and lightening roll. 

Laughter in the rain I can do. Hot, hot, HOT I can not. I live with the ac cranked and popsicles at hand. Yes, I know it is going to be hot. I just really don't like the heat. I thrive in the cooler temperatures.

So, for those of you who are hot weather hounds ~~~ enjoy this time as you romp and play in the sun. Enjoy the warmth as it penetrates your soul and brings you happy joy. I wish you all the joy you can handle and all the blessings of the warm sun. Let the golden rays pour into you.

I will be sitting in the ac; trying not to complain too much as I enjoy a frozen popsicle or other icy cold treasure. Winter is coming. I'll hand you a sweater.  

Thursday, July 10, 2014

World Class Customer Service - with laughter and a smile!

Dear Customer Service Client,

In order to enable your Customer Service Professional to provide you with the world class service you deserve, please consider the following:

Begin the conversation by sharing your name. I’d like to respectfully address you as the individual that you are. You are not a number to me. You are my 1st priority.

Tell me your issue. We all have issues in life. But for today, for the reason you called, please try to state the facts; and not go off on a tangent. I want to hear the relevant details regarding the issue that caused you to reach out for assistance; but I may not need to know that your Great Aunt Sally’s cat, who is the neighborhood menace, was chasing a bird that flew into your house through the hole in your back porch screen door which your son broke last summer when he ran head first through the mesh. The poor terrified bird, feeling trapped in the house, was still being chased by the cat and was squawking something fierce; flapping his wings wildly in an effort to scare off the cat but instead caused the dog to bark in excitement and the sleeping baby in the other room to wake. All of which startled you out of the fog of inactivity you were in as you zoned out on daytime television and made you spill your drink into your lap causing you to leap out of the chair with a reckless abandon tripping and falling to the ground. Your shoelaces had been tied together at the sneaky little hands of your high spirited; always busy, but quite naughty and totally darling young nephew while you tried to catch a quick moment of peace and tranquility while you thought both he and the baby were sleeping. If this does not relate to why you called the company I work for seeking assistance and will not help me to help you ~ I may not need to know about it. At least, not until I have had the opportunity to resolve your issue. Then I’d be happy to share a chuckle with you.

But first, please give me the facts (“Just the facts, Ma’am”) and allow me to reiterate those facts of your issue back to you as I understand them from you without interrupting me so that I can be certain that I have all of the relevant details. If I am wrong, when I have finished speaking; please correct my errors so that I then have my facts correct. This is called conversation. Conversation is an informative 2-way exchange of words and courtesy. It is a practice that is becoming less common in today’s society of instant data gratification given by the digital devices that are consuming our world. But, we’ll practice conversation together. Teach your friends.

When you are speaking, I will be silent. Please allow me the same courtesy. I am not able to address your concerns if you won’t allow me to speak. Interrupting me while I try to answer you; or ask for more information from you is not helpful and causes frustration for both of us. If I need clarification; I will ask you questions until I fully understand your situation. They will be relevant questions that will help lead me to the proper solution so that I may resolve your concern.

I want to help you. That is what I am here for and what brings me joy. My function is your satisfaction with the product I represent while I am at work.

Remember, I work for the company you are calling. I am a paid employee who is happy to have a job and be able to provide assistance to people like you. More than likely I did not invent or in any way create the product you purchased. I didn’t set the price, the policies regarding the sale, or the warranty parameters. I am just an employee here to serve you the best way I am able.

Like you, I am a person who is trying to make the best of this life on Earth. I probably have issues also. I appreciate your kindness and your time. I appreciate the money you spent on the product/service you are calling about and I want you to be satisfied. I am not the reason you are not happy at the moment. The product is.

If the product you are calling about needed installation and we do not offer installation: I didn’t choose the contractor you hired; or tell him how to do his job. He is an independent contractor that you decided to hire. If the product is not working because of his errors in installation; I will refer you back to him for resolution. Why? The product didn’t fail because of a manufacturer defect; it failed because the installer you hired (and most likely paid for his service) failed to install the product properly. Your issue is with him; not the product. Your independent installer will need to properly rectify his errors. (By the way, I’m sure we will hear from him and deal with him regarding product replacement concerns; but that is between him and the company.)

When you ask me a question; listen and be prepared for my answer:
Customer: “What is the price of that Wysiwyg-Dee-Doo B76754321?”
Employee: “Wysiwyg-Dee-Doo Model B76754321 is $999.93.”
Customer: “Oh, wait, I wasn’t ready; let me get a pen and a paper. Can you repeat that?”

Remember, YOU called me to ask for information. You should be prepared for an answer. Have the tools you need to document my response ready.

When I provide you with a price or answer you don’t like; don’t ask for my Manager or Supervisor. They are the one who provided me with the prices and answers in the first place. Ask for my Manager or Supervisor if I have offended you; or treated you in any way that is less than respectful.

Ask for clarification of information if you don’t understand what I said. I will be happy to re-explain in a way that is better for you. I understand we don’t all comprehend the same. Each of us is unique and we may need to hear things differently before we “get it.”

There are times when I will not be able to resolve your concerns. This does not bring me joy. It is merely a situation that occurs. I may believe that you are right and that I should do more for you; even though company policy says otherwise. But, I am bound by the guidelines I am given. I will do everything I can to validate your concerns and not make you feel like you are being a bother or wasting my time.

“Thank you for calling Wysiwyg; my name is Customer Service Professional, how may I help you today?”

“Thank you for allowing me to assist you today. Have I resolved your concern to your expectation?”

“Please let me know if there is anything else I can be of assistance with. Your complete satisfaction is my priority.”

Sincerely yours,
Your Customer Service Professional