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Recreational Services: Providing Excellent Customer Service
Information That We Can Use
In your work “in the trenches”, you are vital to the improvement of the program. Not only in your interaction with our customers, but also in what you can learn and pass on from these interactions.
Let’s say, for example, that a patron, while picking up her I.D. card, tells you that she would love to come to a yoga class, but all the classes are at a time when she has other commitments. You could handle this in many ways. Try to think what would be best for the customer and the long-term success of the Program. Consider these options:
- I’m sorry that the scheduled times don’t work for you.
- What time could you make it to a class?
- I’ll let ask the Director if our instructor is available at that time and see if we might be able to offer another time.
- Would you like us to give you a call to let you know what we found out?
- Have you seen our schedule of other classes?
- Thanks for your input.
If you have made it through all six, you have provided excellent customer service. You may have a few ideas of your own that would be great too. Of course, the next step is to pass the information on to the Director and to follow up with a call. In this situation, the easy way out would be to say, “Sorry, that’s the schedule”, and leave it at that. Without much more effort though, we can provide the patron with much better service, and possibly improve the schedule that we offer. The patron will appreciate and remember the excellent service. They may pass on a word to someone else on campus, and the reputation of Rec Services and you as a member of the Team, is elevated. This is a win-win situation.
The systems that we have in place will help you accomplish necessary tasks with less stress and thought, which will allow you to pay attention to details. An example is our weight room attendant checklist. Each shift you will work through the checklist and do all the tasks asked of you. The tasks listed help us maintain our equipment, take care of our customers, and communicate.
The check-out system allows our users to use good equipment and allows us to keep track of it. We have simplified the process to make it easier for users. Our staff needs to take all the steps so that we know who has the equipment. We need to follow up if they don’t return it. Knowing our systems allows us to keep good equipment in place.
A very simple task, which helps make things run smoothly, is making sure that the correct I.D. card gets back to the correct person. It is very simple to do this. Ask the name, find the card, match the name, and match the face, Bingo! Give ‘em the card. If we don’t do it right, it creates a lot of unnecessary hassle. We have to track them down, they get mad, etc., etc. This small effort and attention to detail avoids hassles.Upset Customers
Situations may come up where patrons are upset about something. For example, they may tell you that they can never get on the elliptical machines because people stay on them too long.
In this situation, it is important that we take these steps:
- Listen to what they have to say. Sometimes it won’t be very nice. Sometimes you’ll have to filter through all the emotion and aggression to figure out what the issue is.
- Stay calm.
- If you can remedy the situation by communicating with those who are on the machines, you might solve the problem. “Hi. I’m Tom. We have someone who is waiting for the elliptical machine. Have you been on here long? Depending on what they say, you can let them know they have a certain amount of time left so everyone can get a chance to work out. This lets them know that someone is waiting and it will let the person who is upset know you are trying to sort out the issue.
- You can offer to pass on to the Director the nature of their complaint. Write it down.
- Read it back to them to make sure you have it all and so they know you have gotten it all
- Tell them “thanks” for bringing it to your attention
- Ask if they would like a call back
- If they want to talk to the Director call x7177 to see if he is available. If not, offer to have the Director call them.
It is important that our staff doesn’t get defensive when people are upset. They may have a very legitimate complaint and we might need to fix the problem. That happens sometimes. We need to let them know that we care about their complaint and will work to fix the problem.
If someone is being unacceptably rude, let them know that it will be difficult for you to help them if they are yelling (or other unacceptable behavior) at you. Call the Director or Public Safety, x7161, if you need assistance.