Personal Action Plan

Make a list of five actions that you plan to do in order to deliver better customer service where you work. Be specific and realistic given the unique nature of your organization and your particular work area.

You can also sign a pledge similar to the one below as your commitment to delivering exceptional customer service.

Customer Service Pledge

This is my pledge to deliver exceptional customer service while I am an employee here at (name of your organization). In doing so, I'm going to contribute my part in making a real difference.

Signature:

Date:

I would like to conclude with a thank-you letter (Anderson and Zemke, p. 115) from a customer who demonstrated his customer satisfaction in a positively outrageous way.

Paul Olson was so pleased with what doctors at the Mayo Clinic did to help save his life, he rented a billboard to thank them.

Olson's thank you note is hard to miss in downtown Rochester, MN, home of the renowned clinic on the prairie. It's a dramatic $800 message on a 12x25 foot billboard:

"Dear Mayo Clinic: Thanks for the Five Years of Life… A Surviving Cancer Patient."

Olson, president of the Blandin Foundation in Grand Rapids, MN, said the message carries "my effort at public education," as well as his gratitude to medical workers who sometimes think that their tasks are thankless.

Olson was 47 in 1992 when the clinic caught his prostrate cancer through a prostrate specific antigen blood test, which some insurers have resisted covering for men under 50 because it sometimes produces false-positive readings.

"I am eternally grateful to Mayo for practicing medicine their way, and not the way of the insurance companies," said Olson. "If you catch it early, young guys, old guys can be just fine… We've got to get more guys into routine checking."

Mayo spokesman John La Forgia said the thank-you billboard is a first for Rochester as far as he knows, and has become a conversation piece at the clinic.

"It certainly makes people feel good that a patient was so pleased with his care here," he said.

Contributed by Robert Franklin
Excerpted from Minneapolis Star (May 18, 1997)

The story below illustrates the most important key to customer service quality. This isn’t to say that other factors such as looking your best and being well mannered aren’t important, because, of course, they are. But the most effective way to make a positive and lasting impression is to concentrate on boosting your customer’s self image.

Jane, recently married was having lunch with a friend and explaining why she married Bill instead of Bob. "Bob is Mr. Everything," Jane said. "He's handsome, well educated, extremely intelligent, clever, and has a very successful career. In fact, when I was with Bob I felt like I was with the most wonderful person in the world."

"Then why did you marry Bill?" her friend asked.

Jane replied, "Because when I'm with Bill, I feel like I'm the most wonderful person in the world."

Leo Burnett says it better and hopefully will leave you with a thought that will encourage you to recognize the critical value of giving your customers a boost to their self-image whenever you can do so:

"Don't tell me how good you make it; tell me how good it makes me when I use it."


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