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Back to the Basics of Customer Service

Part II

By Robert W. Vaillancourt, CBTE
SBE Chapter 36 Vice Chairman

Last month, we reviewed the top ten statements you may have heard in the past. Silly as they may have sounded, let's examine these statements and see if you haven't run into someone you know or a cohort you have worked with that may have actually used these declarations and what a client or customer may have perceived by their actions.

Remember #10? "There's nothing wrong; it's an operator problem."

You will no doubt run into instances where an operator will present you a problem and invoke your skills of patience and understanding when they want to blame a particular piece of equipment, or lack thereof, for an inadequacy of their own character or training.

Many times, an individual may call on your skills of troubleshooting simply because they cannot perform the task at hand. They feel comfortable by calling you to assist them.

At other times, equipment can create bizarre symptoms that we have a tendency to discount as operator-induced. Equipment being controlled more and more by computers, the tendentious attitude of blaming the operator becomes even more prevalent. We must be very cautious not to discount these problems and classify them as "simple fixes."

Obviously, you will run into some operator induced problems and these problems should be viewed as opportunities to train the individual rather than writing it off as "There's nothing wrong, probably an operator issue." Take the time to LISTEN. Who knows? There may be the answer you are looking for by a single solitary statement that he or she makes to you while they try to explain a symptom. Try to extrapolate pertinent information before jumping to conclusions.

If I can emphasize one item, it would be to always check the equipment. Reassure your operator that you have made a complete analysis of the problem. If you could not find a problem, advise them. In many cases, your operator will be glad to assist you in the process of discovery. Potential problems can be lurking in the background.

Remember the 50/50 rule? "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." (Yep, taken from the B.V. archives)

Next month we will look at item #9. "Geez I don't get it, the problem you think you're having is on page 196 of the manual!"

Until next time, take care and have very pleasant holidays with your family and friends.

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Edited by Gary Stigall. Updated 1-Dec-98.