VC offers personal lesson in customer service

Gabriella Canales By Gabriella Canales

April 19, 2017 at 10:57 p.m.
Updated April 20, 2017 at midnight

Kimberly Mayer, 40, left, and Kim Johnson, 40, participate in a customer service course offered by the Victoria College called "Johnny the Bagger: A True Story of Customer Service" at the Victoria College's Emerging Technology Complex.

Kimberly Mayer, 40, left, and Kim Johnson, 40, participate in a customer service course offered by the Victoria College called "Johnny the Bagger: A True Story of Customer Service" at the Victoria College's Emerging Technology Complex.   Ana Ramirez for The Victoria Advocate

University of Houston-Victoria co-workers Kimberly Mayer and Kim Johnson plan to use money to show customers how much they matter.

"We could use fake money since we are in the financial aid office, and put inspirational quotes on them or get chocolate coins," Mayer, 40, said.

The two were motivated to invent their personal signatures after attending Victoria College's "Johnny the Bagger: A True Story of Customer Service" on Tuesday.

"It was good," Johnson, 40, said. "I was hoping not to cry because there was not a box of tissues around."

The session focuses on how employees can provide exceptional service to internal and external customers.

A personal signature is something creative and unique that makes an interaction memorable, said Mary Pullin, VC Workforce and Continuing Education program coordinator.

"Business really isn't about business; it's about people," Pullin said.

The course is based on the true story of Johnny, a young man with Down syndrome who committed himself to provide exceptional customer service at every opportunity.

"You can think of Johnny as a symbol of from-the-heart service," said Ashley Lindsey, VC Lifelong Learning specialist.

Enthusiasm is infectious, Pullin said.

"Smile, be friendly, body language, tone of voice; it's all of those things that we don't think about every day," she said.

Being genuine is also a quality in customer service, Lindsey said.

"Listening is very important," she said. Lindsey advises people to wait three seconds to respond when speaking with a customer.

The college hosted its first session in October, Pullin said.

Participants who walk away with the mindset that they can make a difference in their organizations are Pullin's goal for the session.

"We've got to care about everyone we interact with and show them we care," she said. "No matter who we are, no matter what our job is, we can all make a difference."


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