“Authentic customer service”

A passion and preoccupation for front-line customer service is not new for me.  Ten years ago, working full-time as a cashier in a little gas station kiosk (the Enmark on Merrimon), I worked out my own model for “Authentic customer service.”

Check out my blog from that time (46 posts, 2650 page views)  http://authenticcustomerservice.blogspot.com  If you don’t read anything else on the blog, read the little post that sits right on top and look at the fun photo, shot in the deli of my store’s sister store – where, several years ago, I worked…very briefly.  (That’s another story – but really a very interesting story, having to do with front-line work and personal integrity.  I’m making myself a note to put that story in some later blog post.)  Watch out – reading this one little post might get you hooked on that blog too.  There aren’t as many photos, but most of the little posts are pretty cool.

This photo is taken six years ago, in the deli of my store's sister store.  When I asked the woman behind the counter if I could get a photo of her working, for my customer service blog, she said, "Sure - but don't just take the photo.  Buy something from me so you can see the way I serve you as a customer."  That was hot - I have never forgotten it.

This photo is taken six years ago, in the deli of my store’s sister store. When I asked the woman behind the counter if I could get a photo of her working, for my customer service blog, she said, “Sure – but don’t just take the photo. Buy something from me so you can see the way I serve you as a customer.” That was hot – I have never forgotten it.

“Authentic Customer Service is not just about ‘making the customer’s day’ – it’s at least as much about finding ways, as a server, to make your own day. How do you tap your own style, your own unique voice as a server (and how does management support and help you do this), so that work becomes ‘more authentic, more human, more fun’.”

There honestly is a lot of great stuff there – for people looking for information on how to do customer service, about the front-line customer servers we interact with every day, about how to keep up our morale while doing difficult/stressful/or boring work, and really just about being a person.

Or look at my website from that time: http://home.earthlink.net/~authenticcustomerservice/ (or click the link in the right hand column on the blog)

What is it like to do front-line customer service for a living?  And what could it be like?  More effective…more human…more fun.”

Click the link at that site for “Restaurant server – dramatized“.  It’s based on my six weeks as a restaurant server.  I loved the work, even as I found it very physically hard and more multi-tasking than I could possibly handle. (I was the infamous Mr. Two Tables – more tables than that and I would begin to fall apart.)  I would have stayed at it until they fired me for being too slow.  That link will take you to my play “Seven Servers in Search of a Purpose”.  Unfinished – and the Fringe Festival turned me down.  (Why did they think that a half-finished play was a bad bet?)  It really is a lot of fun.
My mission to “Shepherd my flock” of front-line customer servers was very much alive ten years ago.

 

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