If anybody knows customer service, Jon Callaway does. "I work with people who generally are not happy," explains Jon.
As a Senior Local Relations representative for American Transmission Company, he understand that nobody will be pleased about power lines going through or near his or her property. Nevertheless, Jon says his goal is to hear out customers and treat them respectfully.
"My goal is always to make the customers happier or put them in a better position compared to when the call started," he said. To be good at customer service, Jon says you really need to be a "people person." Excellent training can be found in any bar or restaurant because Jon says you have to deal directly with the customer whether you are responsible for any problems that arise or not.
He recommends trying hard to listen and be empathetic. He emphasizes that it's essential to treat people respectfully, even when they don't return the favor. The customer is not always right but Jon says the "majority of bad customers have no clue that they are bad customers." They may be under great stress by the time your paths cross.
No matter what kind of work we do, with direct or indirect customer contact, Jon contends customer service always plays an important role. He says just a little effort in this area can make a big difference for the people affected by your work.
"You don't need to do that much to be above average," says Jon. In that vein, he likes to quote pro football great Roger Staubach who said, "There are no traffic jams along the extra mile."