Tower construction and maintenance for broadcast and communications. Contact Wanda Mattson at 888-219-0299 
SBE San Diego  Archives Calendar

Back to the Basics of Customer Service

Written by Robert W. Vaillancourt, CBTE
SBE Chapter 36 Vice-Chairman
A little over twenty (hmm...) something years ago, I was given the privilege of managing a computer mainframe regional support group before entering the wonderful world of broadcasting. This talented group was sent to customer sites after the local technical group could not resolve a specific problem with a troublesome piece of equipment. This was a very special group of engineers, technicians and marketing service representatives whose specific marching orders were to not leave the site until the customer was assured that his or her equipment was working perfectly. During my tenure, I have heard many funny stories coming from the field regarding specific customers and equipment. 

A common statement can be summarized into a single line, "100 percent of all repairs could be made successfully if 50 percent of the repair was made to the equipment and the other 50 percent was to assist the client". As broadcast engineers in a very competitive industry see if you can relate to some of these top ten items: 

#10 - "There's nothing wrong, probably an operator problem." 

# 9 - " Geez I don't get it, the problem you think you're having is on page 196 of the manual!" 

# 8 - " Hey, I told them once how to get around this problem. Don't call me again." 

# 7 - " The equipment is just too old, they'll just have to work around it." 

# 6 - " Can't you tell that I'm simply too busy to get to your problem right now?" 

# 5 - " If I wait long enough, maybe they'll forget about the problem." 

# 4 - " Follow up? Heck, they see me everyday. If they want me they can find me." 

# 3 - " It's leaving here o.k., it has to be on there end." 

# 2 - " The flatchet gadget connected to the...." "The whosit plug connected to the . . ." 

# 1 - " Without me, this place would be in some real trouble."

As funny as some of these items sound, believe me, I have heard them all and many more. In an upcoming series of articles, we will explore each statement. As a member of a group of dedicated broadcast engineers, we should strive to achieve the 50/50 rule. Make your clients, co-workers and operators feel they made the right choice in calling you for help rather than someone else. Walk away from a project or repair with a sense of pride. Remind yourself that you were hired because someone felt that you were the best candidate for his or her company. 

Enjoy your day! 

Part two: "It's an Operator Problem!"

Previous Story  Back to Top  Home Page  Next Story 
Previous Story
Back to Top
Home Page
Next Story

Web site contents ©1998 Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 36 San Diego. For more information, to become a member or a sponsor, or to make suggestions or comments, e-mail  

P.O. Box 710702, San Diego, California 92171-0702. 

Edited by Gary Stigall. Updated 01-Nov-98.