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Customer service


D. J. Sweetenham

Guest Columnist

  Six years ago, I retired from a Customer Service position with a light engineering company after thirteen years of dealing with customers requiring accuracy down to one thousandth of an inch in everything we produced for them. No excuses, and I soon learned the basic rules for being a good Customer Service Representative, or CSR.

  Rule No. 1  Say what you do and do what you say.

  Rule No. 2 Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

  Those rules apply to just about any business and service which has customers, clients, etc. Over the last few years it has become evident that these rules are becoming obsolete at an alarming rate. Recorded and or computer generated inquiries have done nothing to improve the situation and being put “On Hold” recently by a machine for at least five minutes was just about the last straw with me. The day is fast approaching when my telephone will be replaced by a smoky fire and a wet blanket and the computer will be much more useful as an anchor for my old pontoon boat! However, all is not lost. There are some folks who still believe in and practice those two basic rules and I would like to say “Kudos” to those fine people.

  Number one on my short list would have to be my best friend, Durant Godwin, aka Auto Doc. In spite of having to battle the ravages of radiation and chemo for the treatment of his lung cancer, he still manages to complete any auto repair work which comes to him. When I try to get him to “Take it easy!” he just gives me a dirty look and says “The customer needs his vehicle. That comes first.”

  A close second would have to be the ladies of the Stockbridge Tag Office. They are so polite, friendly and helpful they even make the whole process of paying vehicle taxes a pleasurable experience instead of a painful one. The Tax Commissioner is to be commended on his choice of staff; they all do an excellent job.

  Next on my list are the two Doctors in my life. Dr. William Jackson of Britepoint Urgent Care and Dr. Barry Dix of Southern Heart Specialists. They each have truly wonderful staffs who really connect with their patients. I have never been kept waiting beyond my appointment time at either of their surgeries. I've had experience of other medical practitioners in the past and believe me, these two are special.

  Fifth on my list of exemplary service providers is the Berry Hill Pet Hospital. It has only been during the past year that I have discovered Dr. Richard S. Pfouts (the “P” is silent) and his pet hospital at the airfield on Millers Mill Road in Stockbridge. Dr. Pfouts has two charming and knowledgeable assistants, Julie and Carla, who work wonders with the patients. My two Best Buddies, Sammy and Dee love to go there, if only for a toe-nail trim. They consider it a social visit rather than something to be frightened about and I don't feel like I've been stabbed in the wallet when we leave.

  Number six on my list is the local branch of Ingles, the grocery store on Fairview Road in Ellenwood. That place is almost like a second home to me. I consider the staff as my friends and it is a great feeling to go into the store and be greeted as a friend. It is a very rare occasion when I have had to go into another store to find something “special” and I hope nobody sees me. I've lived in this area for eighteen years now and I've been an Ingles customer from day one. The friendly, polite and helpful attitude of both the staff and management makes for a memorable shopping experience.

  So there you have it, there are still people who recognize the meaning of “Good Customer Service.” I know it is unrealistic to expect that kind of personal attention everywhere in this age of advanced technology but it sure does a heart good to be greeted with a “Hi, Don, how are you?” and a handshake.


  D.J. Sweetenham, originally from England, is the author of Bumps in the Road and Bumps in the Road - Part Two, highlights of his interesting and far-flung life. D.J., his wife, and two small dogs, live in Stockbridge.




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