The Corey Story

My random wanderings and things I find entertaining

Posts Tagged ‘Customer Service Specialist’

Etiquette Awareness — Three Little Words, BIG Meaning

Posted by Corey Kaster on June 17, 2010

There are two words I use a lot: courtesy and respect.

I believe the interactions we have with others, whether they are a brief, one-time exchange or continuous, long-term relationships, are greatly impacted by the manner in which we treat others. There is no financial cost to using these forms of conduct but they have a powerful affect, not only in how you make others feel but in how you are perceived.

There is another word I believe very strongly in, and that is dignity.

Dignity is the quality of being worthy of esteem or respect. To me, it also reflects composure and poise. I think of dignity in terms of oneself more than other people, as in, always maintain your dignity. Dignity goes hand in hand with presenting a polished presence. We can find ourselves in all sorts of awkward or uncomfortable situations; how we react to them is what is going to be noticed — and judged — by those around us.

Remember…

The only person you have control over is yourself. Sometimes not saying anything, smiling politely, or simply excusing yourself from the situation is the best remedy. No matter how much you may wish to indulge yourself by firing off that comment, stepping in where you shouldn’t or simply not letting go when it is past time to do so, remembering my three words will do you much better.

Courtesy                       Respect                         Dignity

For yourself and those around you.

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com


Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

Posted in Coaching, Etiquette Awareness | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Etiquette Awareness — Good Vs. Great

Posted by Corey Kaster on June 9, 2010

Good customer service is about sending people away happy and drawing them back again. It’s about making them feel important and appreciated. To me, great customer service is about making the customer feel really well taken care of and sending them out the door with a “wow” on their lips, wanting to share their experience with others.

I experienced great customer service last Friday. My car chose that morning to begin doing some peculiar things and while I am very willing to get in and deal with many things, I don’t do car issues. As I was on my way to a coffee meeting, I placed a call to my husband and, in a nutshell, suggested he “deal with it…” He very quickly called me back and told me he had made arrangements for me to stop by the auto repair shop after my meeting.

I sat in the waiting room at the shop for just a few minutes before Dirk, the manager, came in to talk to me about my car. Unfortunately, it was behaving perfectly for him! Together, we went on a short drive (I was hoping that with me in the driver’s seat it would choose to show its true colors) but again, there were no signs of the trouble that had started this whole experience. Dirk then checked the electrical signals and fluid levels and pronounced me well. He also told me that if (when) my vehicle started acting up again, I should come right back in for them to take a look at it.

I left, somewhat frustrated that my car had chosen to selectively misbehave, yet feeling like I had just been enveloped in great customer service. I did not have an appointment and although it was a Friday afternoon and the shop appeared to be busy, they still said to come on in. Quick attention was paid to my situation and I feel a thorough check on potential causes was made. And even though I took up Dirk’s time, there was no charge for my visit.

My husband has been taking his car into this shop for a number of years as they specialized in the type of vehicles he drove. Now, however, they are a full-service shop and this is the second time I have been in as well.

It is very clear to me that Northwest Import Specialists, Inc., located in Vancouver, WA, are not only knowledgeable and reliable in terms of their repair service but they also offer great customer service at the same time … the kind of customer service that makes you feel well taken care of, puts a “wow” on your lips, and makes you want to tell other people about.

Remember…

It’s not just what you do, it’s how you do it that matters!

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com


Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

Posted in Coaching, Etiquette Awareness | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Etiquette Awareness — Hey, Move It!

Posted by Corey Kaster on May 27, 2010

I see this everywhere, so I know something like this has happened to you. But I finally experienced a version of it that was pretty much the last straw, so I’m publicly saying enough is enough: Get out of the way!

While attending a public open house type of event, my friend and I moved towards the stairs to view the large second floor loft area of this public venue. We were not the only ones that had that idea as there were five or six people trailing behind us as we began our ascent. However, mid-way up the staircase, we came to something of an abrupt stop.

There was a man in the way. He was well over six feet and had the build to accompany the height. He was neither walking up nor down but instead, was parked, center stage, talking on his cell phone. He clearly couldn’t miss us attempting to get by but instead, chose to stand smack in the center of the stair and ignore us. He made no effort to even turn his body sideways so that we might reasonably pass by; instead we were forced to squeeze past, an effort made even more perilous due to his glass of red wine balancing precariously on the ledge of the staircase.

May I ask everyone, here and now, to please be aware that you are not the only critter on this planet? When you are at a public event, note that other people probably have the same idea as you, often at the same time. (Good minds DO think alike!)

For example, when you step up to the bar to obtain a beverage, move out of the way once you have received it. Don’t stand there talking; there are others waiting for something to drink too! The same goes for the food. Help yourself to a selection, then step away from the table before you begin eating so that others may do the same. It is extremely irritating to those waiting when two or three people are standing there, sans plates, gobbling and talking without any regard to the crowd around them.

In other words, remember to get out of the way!

Remember…

A colleague recently told me she could tell when I had a “bee in my bonnet”; it was reflected in my writing. I admit it — this one has bothered me for a while, partly because it seems to be plain common sense!

Just as we should say “excuse me” when stepping past someone, so too should we be aware of when we may be causing an inconvenience to others.

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com

Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

Posted in Coaching, Etiquette Awareness | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Etiquette Awareness — Don’t Add To The Problem

Posted by Corey Kaster on May 19, 2010

Rude behavior. Unfortunately, we don’t have to look far to find it. It can be the person who insists on holding those around him hostage to his cell phone conversation, the individual who texts through-out a class or meeting, or that lovely specimen that takes out her unrelated-to-the-situation frustration on a clerk behind the counter.

Responding in kind is exactly how you don’t want to handle the situation.

When someone does something that stands out for its inappropriateness, let it stand alone. Let the culprit muddle through in all his glory. Often times, when you attempt to retaliate or “teach the person a lesson”, your behavior ends up drawing more attention and negative reaction than the original rudeness.

Usually one form of rude behavior is enough for any situation.

Remember…

Taking the high road is not always our immediate reaction to rudeness but in the long run, it is the best response. As mom always said, “two wrongs don’t make a right” … especially when it comes to presenting yourself in a professional manner.

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com


Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Etiquette Awareness — The Referral Reflection

Posted by Corey Kaster on May 14, 2010

Referrals can be the life blood of business, now more than ever. Employers are relying on personal recommendations to fill job vacancies, and research is showing that consumer recommendation is the most trusted form of advertising.

In other words, your referral or recommendation can be gold to another person. In can also be a way to shoot yourself in the foot.

When you refer someone to another person, you are putting your name and reputation on the line. If things don’t go well, it reflects badly on you and could potentially damage the relationship you have with both parties.

People ask for referrals from those they like and to a degree, trust in their judgment. They feel comfortable that you will recommend someone who will treat them as you do. Know who you are recommending — not just their name and what they do, but also such things as how they treat their customers, the level of professionalism they bring to the table and their follow-through.

At the same time, be aware of how you are meeting, or better yet, exceeding the expectations of those who are making referrals to you. Keep in mind that not only are they wanting you to take care of the individuals they refer but they are also wanting you to make them look good!

Remember…

When it comes to referrals, perception is everything. While someone might consider you to be a great person and/or a good friend, they may not be comfortable when it comes to referring you to others professionally. How do you come across to others?

Every time you interact with someone, you have the opportunity to enhance your reputation or diminish it.

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com

Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

Posted in Coaching, Etiquette Awareness | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Etiquette Awareness — Paddling Like A Duck

Posted by Corey Kaster on May 10, 2010

Have you heard the expression “Be like a duck, floating calmly on the surface, but paddling furiously under the water?”

I actually saw this in action recently when I took some shoes in for repair. It’s a small shop and I’ve always received excellent service there but I’ve also always been the only customer in the store at the time. On this particular day, there were two people in line ahead of me and while I waited, an additional three came in as well. The man behind the counter was obviously working as fast as he could to take care of each customer but at the same time, service was not being compromised. He greeted each of us with a smile, thanked us for waiting and went on to address our individual needs. Periodically, he would look up and thank the growing line for our patience, explaining that his boss, the owner was not in as he was very ill but he would be with us as soon as he could.

No one was complaining or impatient; we all understood.

When it was my turn to step to the counter, he had momentarily moved to the back area, out of sight of his customers, to put something away. However, I happened to catch sight of him looking at his co-worker (who was diligently working away on a pair of shoes.) This very calm, professional man had his hands in the air, his mouth wide open to mimic a scream and was shaking his head from side to side as he very silently let off some well-deserved stress. Within just a minute he stepped back to the counter with a happy smile and thanked me for waiting, “What may I do for you today?”

It was absolutely fantastic; I felt like I had been let in on a secret. He was obviously aware — and concerned — about his customers but cared enough not to add to the situation in a negative way by becoming flustered and attempting to rush through the process.

He was a perfect duck.

Remember…

People are not going to necessarily remember what happened but they will remember how you handled the situation. Be like a duck!

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com


Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

Posted in Coaching, Etiquette Awareness, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Etiquette Awareness — It’s About Choices

Posted by Corey Kaster on May 3, 2010

It’s 4:00 in the afternoon and I am standing in what feels like my second home, the physical therapy clinic. My oldest son has been rehabilitating his knees, then an elbow, since last October. While there has been some underlying muscle injuries, the bottom line is he grew so fast (6″ in about five months) that his body just didn’t stretch properly to keep up. As he is an avid baseball player, we have been working hard to get and keep him physically ready for the season.

Today’s visit was for a new problem — he had banged up a knee in a recent game. As the physical therapist looked at the amount of swelling still present 11 days after the injury occurred and noted the tenderness, he told me he felt we should have it looked at by our friendly — and familiar — orthopedic surgeon.

Knowing that we were only five minutes away from his office, I made the call, hoping, yes, seriously hoping that we would be able to go straight over for an x-ray. We live about 33 miles away from the medical office and as these visits need to be made after school, we fight some of the worst traffic to get there and back; I didn’t want to have to make this trip twice.

The staff in the office has always been extremely friendly and helpful, so you can imagine my surprise when, after briefly explaining my request and dilemma, I received a curt “No” in answer. That was it; no explanation, other than “I will transfer you to the nurse’s voice mail.”

I had a choice at this point. Leave a message on voice mail, expressing my frustration and concern about my son, and wait for the nurse to call me back, or deal with it. As I am not particularly good at waiting, I chose to deal with it. Again, a choice to be made. Do I deal with it in the same manner at which was directed towards me, or in a more professional, friendly tone?

I chose the latter, and when I was able to reconnect with the same receptionist, I explained that I would like to make an appointment to have my son seen, etc. Within just a minute or two, she was over her curtness and I was once again receiving the friendly, courteous service I had been accustomed to — and we had an appointment for the next afternoon.

As for Colby’s knee, he’ll be ok with some rest and of course, more physical therapy. Home again.

Remember…

Sometimes it takes an extra effort to be polite, especially when you are unexpectedly — and for no obvious reason — met with rudeness.

People are more inclined to be helpful to those that are friendly and courteous and by taking the high road you will often feel better in the end. Keep in mind that something or someone else may have been the trigger for the other person’s irritation; unfortunately, you are the one who gets to deal with it. The option of how to respond is yours.

You always have a choice.

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com

Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

Posted in Coaching, Etiquette Awareness | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Etiquette Awareness — Recognition Feels Great!

Posted by Corey Kaster on April 14, 2010

Today’s mail brought me a most pleasant surprise. But before I tell you what it was, I need to share some background information with you.

In addition to writing this weekly newsletter, I also write articles on various topics pertaining to business etiquette and customer service. I submit them to on-line publishing sites as another way of making myself known in the world.

One of these sites is EzineArticles.com. Article submissions are reviewed and critiqued according to a set of editorial guidelines prior to acceptance for publishing, and recently I was awarded the top level Platinum status, moving up from the Basic author status. There is a second level, Basic Plus, which typically requires the submission of an additional 25+ articles to meet this criteria, but because of the quality of my writing and my choice of topics, I bypassed it and went straight to the top!

I must say I’m rather proud of myself.

My reason for sharing this information with you is because of the package I received in the mail today. It was a large coffee mug from EzineArticles.com with a packet of gourmet coffee tucked inside and a convenient coaster. Accompanying it was a note from the CEO, thanking me for “being an Expert Author” and saying that the enclosed items were a token of appreciation for sending in best quality and original articles. It was closed with “looking forward to your next set of article submissions so that we can increase your exposure and send targeted, qualified traffic back to your website.” It was all beautifully packaged in a custom designed box … a wonderful impression from start to finish.

Did I mention that there is no charge to have my articles published by this site?

Now, if you will excuse me, I feel the urge to do some writing!

Remember…

So, what are you doing to recognize others? It doesn’t have to be an elaborate gesture or a gift; often times an unexpected “thank you for all you do” or “I appreciate you” can have a tremendous effect.

Send a card, pick up the telephone, write an email, stop by with a balloon, candy bar or cup of coffee. The fact that the gesture is made is what is important!

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com

Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Etiquette Awareness — Make The Most of Your Profile

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 17, 2010

Networking … it’s something we all do. We attend early morning meetings, break away in the middle of the day for lunch hour events, and sometimes get home late in the evening because of business social obligations. You are working to make others aware of you, to promote your business and obtain referrals, while at the same time, meet new people, learn about the services they have to offer and how you can be of help to them. It can be a full time job in and of itself.

Many networking groups have websites that offer their members the opportunity to create an on-line profile through which they may provide site visitors with information about themselves and their business.

Make the most of this sales tool by including relevant, useful information:

  • Your full name. When visitors scroll through a directory, don’t make them guess how you listed yourself. They will simply move on to someone else.
  • Contact information. This includes email and a telephone number. If you have a website, include that as well. If you aren’t promoting it, why do you have it?
  • The name of your company.
  • A brief description of what it is that you do. Just as you have worked to perfect your 30 second introduction, you should also be able to describe what type of services you have to offer in a few sentences. The name of your company doesn’t always provide adequate information.
  • A photograph. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a professional head shot; a nice photograph of your face without a lot of background distraction will also work. This is especially helpful as it can foster name / face recognition when you actually meet someone in person.

If the site allows for you to include upcoming activities your company is hosting or participating in, list them. If you have a blog or write articles, include them, or a link to them, on your profile. You want to draw people in to your site, spark their curiosity and interest. Just as you strive to make a good impression when you are interacting with someone in person, you want to do the same when your on-line profile is being reviewed. If someone is curious enough to look you up, provide them with information!

Remember…

Keep in mind that just as you do not stay the same, day after day, neither should your profile. Go back and periodically review it. Do you have additional information to add? Has anything changed?

Having a complete on-line profile is part of networking; it will help you sell yourself when you aren’t around.

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com

Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

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Etiquette Awareness — May I Ask A Favor?

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 2, 2010

This week I am sharing a portion of an article written by Jacqueline Whitmore, an international etiquette and image expert, author, spokesperson and the founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach. I found this information to be extremely useful and a good reminder because while most people are happy to offer advice and assistance to others, the approach can make all the difference.

How To Ask For Favors, Properly

by Jacqueline Whitmore

When I am not writing or teaching, I spend a majority of my workday managing email. … Occasionally, I get an email from someone who wants some free advice. … When I have the time, I will try my best to respond to each and every email. … When composing an email, particularly to someone you don’t know well, please heed the following advice.

Greet me. An email that doesn’t contain my name gives me a clue that you might have sent this question to a multitude of experts. Dale Carnegie tells us that the sweetest sound to a person’s ear is the sound of their own name. Well, I like to see my name in print too. It shows that you have taken the time to personalize your message.

Enlighten me. In general, I will assume that I don’t know you unless you tell me how we met or know one other. Did we meet at a luncheon or a seminar? Did someone refer you to me? I meet and speak with a lot of people, as I’m sure you do too, so please refresh my memory.

Flatter me. Sometimes I will get an email that requires me to stop what I’m doing and make an effort to do a little research in order to answer the question. I am more apt to help you if you have done something to help me. Do you subscribe to my blog or e-newsletter? Have you attended one of my classes? Have read you read my book, Business Class, purchased one of my products or referred me to someone you know? If you do something nice for me, I am eager to reciprocate the favor.

Be specific. Not all emails are clear, concise and contain all the facts. Therefore, if your email does not contain pertinent information, I can’t give you my best answer. Make sure you give as many facts as possible without making the email too long.

Give me a deadline. If you need an answer right away, let me know. Otherwise, I will assume that your email is not time sensitive.

Thank me. Your email may require research and time on my part. If I take the time to respond, please send me an email in return that expresses your thanks for my efforts. Better yet, let me know how the situation turned out if you did take my advice. This way I will know that my efforts were worthwhile and that gives me great satisfaction.

Jacqueline offers a variety of valuable tips at her blog,

http://jacquelinewhitmore.com and her website, www.etiquetteexpert.com.

Remember…

Professionalism and a courteous approach will take you a long way when it comes to interacting with others, especially if you are asking for someone’s assistance. How you frame your request — and your follow-up — says a lot about you.

Is it the impression you want to convey?

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com

Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

Share This!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

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