I recently read the blog of a good friend of mine discussing how important good customer service is and how we as consumers can make better choices with our money to support the places that deserve our money.  While reading her remarks, it occurred to me that we are all in a customer service position of one kind or another even if we are not directly in the service industry.

I am an accountant and I work for an HVAC installer.  Technically I am overhead.  I don't make any money directly for the company by selling our services.  However, I am part of the "face" of the company.  Anytime our receptionist cannot figure out who should get the call, it is forwarded to me.  I have a unique opportunity to make a good impression for the customer.  I could easily say it is not my department, not my job, or something else equally as lazy, but I try and understand exactly what it is they are looking for, give them the direct line and name of the person that can help them best and try to get them connected.  If all else fails, I'll get their name and number and get back to them with 24 hours.

I also have a lot of contact with our customers and vendors.  In any business, we all need certain information to get our job done.  I know exactly which of my vendors can deliver and which don't.  The same with the customers.  I make every effort to be the type of contact I am looking for, meaning if someone needs information, they'll have it from me in 24 hours, or a really good explanation why I cannot deliver.  In this tight economy, there are many other businesses that do what we do, many may even be cheaper.  There is nothing you can do for the person who is just shopping for a bargain, but you can make a huge impact for those businesses looking for a company that is responsive to their needs.

We are all in the service industry.  Each day we make an impression on customers and vendors.  Better to make sure it is a positive one.