Customer Service

One year ago, I arrived at CHD and the first person I encountered was Debbie Guerrero, Receptionist at SRHQ, who gave me a very gracious and warm welcome. That memory will stay with me. I felt recognized. I felt welcome. Now an HR Assistant, Debbie and Paula Boris, HR Representative, provide that same daily warm welcome to their colleagues and to clients who walk to and through our door. That is quite a wonderful way to start each day. The important thing is to pass it on.
Do we do that every day with each person who walks through our doors? Do we recognize them? Do we greet them? Do we offer to help? Do we encourage them to speak because we are good at listening?
How about people who call us or send us emails? Do we take their calls and provide them our time? Do we check our emails reasonably often (but not excessively) and respond in a timely manner?
Last week I was in Stockton and stopped briefly at our Lodi office. When asking for Janet Vargas, Center Manager, I was informed that she was out in the parking lot helping with the food bank distribution to clients. Heading out to the truck I was greeted by Rehana Zaman, Case Manager, who was also busy assisting clients but also took the time to speak to me. They weren’t waiting for clients to walk through the doors. They were already meeting them upon arrival in the parking lot.
When I visit our offices, I enjoy observing my colleagues helping people. My colleague Lorena Lopez, Senior Case Manager, one day did not immediately answer the front door of her Dixon office. I know how Lorena is typically trying to help three people at the same time while making each feel that she or he is the center of attention. She did not keep me waiting for long and the important thing is that she was focused on the people whom she was serving.
A month ago, Paul Castro, Division Director, and I drove to Tulelake to visit farmworkers who have a scarcity of local resources and services. Tulelake is a very long drive from almost anywhere but our Board Chair, Miguel Mejia, and Board Member, Amber Yearton, met us there for a small community event. That was on a Saturday yet as she does on a weekly basis, our colleague Maria Robey, Case Manager, made that drive from Redding. Maria says it is important to visit regularly so that residents can get to know her and trust her. She has services to offer, and she does it with great grace.
I like to imagine that each of us consciously and intentionally thinks about and commits to providing good customer service to everyone we encounter every day. CHD’s Vision, Mission, and Values are not mere words. We provide Service with Respect, Service with Integrity, Service with Honesty, and Service with Humility. We should and must focus on customer service…and everyone is a customer.
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