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Posted: Wednesday, Oct 30th, 2013

When I teach customer service classes, there is a feeling among attendees that a customer is a “they,” especially here on the coast where we get so many visitors. In fact, visitors are seen this way by many local residents, too.

“They” are somebody outside of who we are and what we understand. They are merely a slow-moving vehicle in front of us when we’re late for work. They don’t know what they want or where they’re going, but they want a good deal. Sometimes customers or visitors are seen as a challenge, a nuisance, and an interruption in our busy day.

And economically, nobody seems to feel the trickle-down effect filling their pockets. We’re all busy working trying to make our own ends meet and maybe get ahead, so we can go buy ourselves something as a reward. Or take a vacation.

Suddenly, we’ll become somebody else’s “they.” You’ll be a customer, or a visitor who’s driving slowly through a strange town because you don’t know for sure where you’re going. Or, you might ask a salesman a bunch of uneducated questions about a new electronic gadget you think you want. In that position, what would you like for service?

Recognition that the customer or visitor works hard for her spending money and time off.

Patience, and understanding that unfamiliar products and places can be confusing to a newcomer.

Helpful information and resources to answer those questions everyone has.

A deal, or any special treatment is always fun.

Practice patience with your customers and visitors. You’ll get even with them when it’s your turn.

For the complete article see the 10-30-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 10-30-2013 paper.

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