Mid-Atlantic Rescue Systems, Inc.

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Customer Service

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June 01, 2024 | NATIONAL Didymus McHugh, Correspondent

Let's see how many people can relate. I remember when people in stores would help you. They would take the time and walk you to the aisle, if you could not find something in the store, or someone would be willing to help, even if it was not in their job description. Has anyone helped to put packages in a car for someone?

I see customer service as lacking so many times. Many times when I encounter people in stores, they are doing something on the smartphone or they are plugged into something with ear buds. You cannot tell that the person is not hallucinating because it looks like they are either talking to themselves or outright ignoring you. 

Sometimes we forget that whatever we do is about customer service. I remember a few years ago I was asked to put up yellow tape in front of a driveway. The owner was elderly and came to the door and asked what happened. As I was explaining to the owner that a tree came down in the street blocking the road and taking down electrical lines, I was yelled at by the chief. He told me that my job was to just put up the tape and not to talk to anyone. Interesting, the chief never thought about customer service of telling the homeowner what happened and about how long it might take.

Years before that incident, part of the training and practice was concentrating on salvage and overhaul. We used to cover people's property or carefully move it within the house or carry it carefully outside, to reduce damage and we did not break any windows that were not necessary. When we worked with people, we treated them the way that we wanted to be treated. We treated each citizen like family members because we always saw the people that we served. It was even to the point that the first fire company that I was part of was known as friendly fire company # 4.

So today, I see people bark out orders at customers. I see tip jars on so many counters. I do not know if people realize, I as a customer do not have to be yelled at. If you yell at me, I have the option of taking my money and spending it in another store that shows me respect and values my relationship. If you pour me a cup of coffee, I do not have to tip you for doing your job.

We are always in a service posture. We need to think about that the entire year through. We may need to do fundraising or need to justify purchasing equipment for our organization. Things go so much easier when they see how much we go out of our way or treat others with complete respect, even when they are out of our earshot.

Gee, there is something in a book that I read that says to treat others as you want to be treated. If someone is not nice, you may tell the store owner. Think about how people express their dissatisfaction with your service. Are you really treating your customer the best that you can?

We may never really know or understand who our true customer is. We as individuals do our own customer service by the way that we treat others. I'll let you chew on that one for a while.

Stay safe,

Didymus McHugh

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Didymus McHughCorrespondent

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