Friday, May 5, 2006

Customer Service

I always learn so much from my students. Recently, as I was reading a written homework assignment, I received a piece of customer feedback. You see at the end of our Certified Networker class we have a graduation celebration. It certainly is a time to honor the newest members of our growing community. Seasoned grads take on many of the responsibilities of the event, including the registration table. It is an event where we also welcome visitors.

So here's where the important feedback comes in. The assignment was for the student to attend any networking event and then write about their experience. The student reported on our graduation held several months ago. She came by herself and it was a challenge for her to walk in. But she did. What happened, according to her perception, was that she was welcomed, and instructed how to sign in, but then the two people at the registration table resumed their personal conversation, ignoring her plight in doing so. Ouch!

Our usual way of doing things, is for a roaming grad to take visitors under their wing, move them to the name tag area, and introduce them to others. Maybe all that happened, but from the visitor's point of view it didn't. Even so, she registered in this most recent class. She now feels much more comfortable attending networking events because of some techniques she has learned.

We have a graduation coming up on the 23rd of this month. We have three classes of students to be honored. We will have many guests. It will be a challenge to be sure that all guests feel included and welcome. But you can bet that I will ask the seasoned Certified Networkers how they think they can make it happen.

When did you get unexpected feedback about your customer service? Were you up to snuff or was it a wake-up call?

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