Friday, June 08, 2007

Customer Service Workshop and Poetry

I had the honor of presenting a workshop on improving customer service to increase retention at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, Canada the other day. Great group of people doing so many great things to educate students and change the futures of the students and Province of New Brunswick for the better. Some of the same issues universities and colleges face in the States to retain students so they can achieve their goals and dreams.

When I returned to my hotel room I found an email from one of the people who attended. Some things I said touched a resonant chord in John Young, a faculty member and poet. He said it would be okay to share his thoughts and a poem he had written some years before with you.


I have just come back to my office from your public presentation on "Students as Customers? Embrace the Oxymoron". I am the chap who lingered at the end (while you were chatting with Glen Cleland and Brian Kaye) and said I would email you.

Your emphasis on treating people as though you care, engaging them, and building bridges was a welcome message. When you commented that telling a parent with a sick child that they could go home early might actually result in them staying longer, it reminded me strongly of something that I prepared for a management course many years ago (1992, I think).

I believe in the power of relationships and the value of people. I fail often, too often, but I really do want to treat people with compassion.

I have attached the poem I wrote for that management course. It is from my heart and I have it posted in my office to remind me of its message. I hope it resonates with you too.

Thank you, and blessings,

John Young

Assistant Director,
Centre for Enhanced Teaching and Learning University of New Brunswick Eaton Multimedia Centre 10 Mackay Drive P.O. Box 4400 Fredericton, N.B.


The Heart of the Matter

He bought three hours of my time.

I gladly gave him four.

Though he paid wages for my work,

He gave me something more.

He cared how well I did the job,

And that's as it should be.

But something better far than that,

He also cared for me.

Another asked to buy my time

And promised me some gain,

But he left me a poorer man

And added to my pain.

He stripped me of my self esteem

And greatly wounded me.

And though he thinks he got four hours,

I only gave him three.

It matters not how much you pay,

You'll only get a part,

If you insist on treating folks

As though they had no heart.

But give to them a sense of worth,

And let them know you care,

And they will give back to your hand

Much more than just their share.

John G. Young

1 comment:

katty said...

I think having a workshop on improving customer service is a nice idea.. Training is really a very important tool because better customer service will increase your business. If the employees are not given good training they would perform really bad on their work which make customer's complain.
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