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Keeping an eye on customer service

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- You know that feeling you get when you receive great customer service? It really makes you feel special and valued. Equally as important, a negative customer service experience can leave a lasting impression - one that quickly frustrates and encourages you to spend your money and time elsewhere.

Experiencing both good and bad customer service helps us provide better service ourselves. What do I mean by that? We know how we like to be treated, and this knowledge allows us to focus our efforts on better serving others.

So how does this relate to you? Whether or not you are in the customer service business, you have people who consider themselves your customers. The most common customer we think of is our external customer. They are often the person who walks into your office, telephones or emails you seeking assistance. Those are the obvious customers.

On the other hand, the customer we often forget is our internal customer - our co-workers, subordinates or superiors. Despite the hectic day-to-day workloads we all experience, the internal customer is just as important as the external customer. They keep the organization in motion.

In order to be successful, we need to take care of both our external and internal customers. Good customer service is an expectation we all have and rightly so. It should be as reliable as a finely-tuned machine. The question you need to ask is how well-oiled is your customer service machine?

In an effort to tune-up both internal and external customer service, the 42nd Services Division and the 42nd Mission Support Squadron recently sought training on this subject. The units hosted Charlie Tyrian of Keep Charging Enterprises, who provided inspirational and motivational customer service training to over 400 unit members.

It was an amazing experience to see hundreds of unit members reenergized after just a few hours of training. Mr. Tyrian, a retired Marine colonel, put the audience at ease and broke customer service down to the basics.

The symbol of his training is the rhinoceros, a take-charge animal who views challenges as opportunities. His unique philosophy focused on how each individual person has the ability to shape a given situation through optimism, attitude and motivation.

This renewed focus on customer service comes at a pivotal time as we quickly approach July 1, when the Services Division and the Mission Support Squadron will merge to form the 42nd Force Support Squadron. Our goal is a seamless transition with a continued focus on excellent customer service.

Whether you are receiving a new ID card at the Military Personnel Flight, eating lunch at the Club, taking a class at the Airman and Family Readiness Center, or enjoying a weekend at Lake Martin Recreation Center, Services and the Mission Support Squadron are committed to providing exceptional customer service to you.

In return, we ask that you be a good customer and tell us what you like or how we can improve things for you. This feedback helps us to improve both our service and your experience as a customer. Think of it as oil for the machine.