Steps to make sure employees have a positive customer attitude

Phoenix, AZ, Feb. 11, 2008 — From time to time, everyone has an unpleasant encounter with someone who serves up lousy customer service with a side order of bad attitude. Utility employees who interact with customers in any fashion would do well to assess their own customer-service attitude and take steps to make sure it’s a positive one.

“It never hurts to reflect on the value of your customers,” says David Saxby, president of Measure-X, a company that specializes in helping utilities improve their customer service and sales. “Never view a customer as an interruption of your work. Instead, prioritize your work so that you build relationships with your customers.”

Saxby suggests that utility employees organize their job duties into two columns as follows.

Column 1: Activities that build customer relationships

* Greet customers warmly.
* Listen to customers.
* Open another payment window when there’s a line.
* Answer the telephone in three rings or less.
* Place customers on hold for less than 30 seconds.
* Respond to customer e-mails.
* Keep customers updated about product or service changes.
* Quickly resolve customer complaints.

Column 2: Tasks that can be done after customer needs are met

Saxby offers a tip for Column 2. “You can interrupt these tasks any time a customer needs your attention,” he says.

* Filing.
* Preparing invoices.
* Writing reports.
* Conducting inventory.
* Sorting mail.
* Making copies.

“Customers are absolutely the most important people in the company and they don’t deserve poor service and rudeness,” Saxby says. “The most important job you have is to make your customers happy. Your customers will reward great service with business. Their business means you have a job!”

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