TV anchor hosts customer service workshop for Troy businesses
Published 3:00 am Thursday, February 23, 2017
The City of Troy Public Relations and Tourism Department sponsored a Customer Service Workshop Wednesday that was facilitated by WSFA’s morning show anchor Tonya Terry and attended by city employees and members of the Troy business community.
Terry said more than thousand people wake up to her each morning.
“I’m the first face many people see in the morning,” she said. “I want them to feel engaged. I want them to feel like they are the only person I’m talking to. I want to be set apart from the next person that will be reading the teleprompter. So, they shouldn’t expect an attitude.”
Terry said, when dealing with the public, it is important to realize that one person can throw everything off.
“One person with an attitude can mess up your day,” she said. “Don’t let an attitude mess up your day.”
And, that’s not always easy.
“Choose the Golden Rule,” Terry said. “When a person comes with an attitude, treat them the way you want to be treated. Treat them with respect. Treat them kindly. It works. It really works.”
Terry said a soft tone of voice, a smile, an understanding nod can often be disarming.
She encouraged the attendees to be accepting of change in the workplace.
“Change can be good,” she said. “Being in a rut is not the best place to be. Be accepting of change and be willing to change.”
The old adage, a kindness is never wasted often works wonders in the workplace. Several of the attendees shared incidents where kind words and a caring attitude changed the tone of a tense situation.
Bennie Jinright, City of Troy 311 operator, said Terry did an outstanding job of reminding customer service representatives that their jobs are to help the customer in a kind, caring and compassionate manner.
“Tonya reminded us how important it is for us to remember that we are here to help the customer and that we should do it with a smile and kindness,” Jinright said. “No matter what, we are to treat our customers with respect. We need to give them our attention, and like Tonya said, give them our undivided attention and be sincere in our efforts to help them. That kindness will come back to you.”
Wanda Moultry, OCAP executive director, said the customer service workshop was something she needed.
“Like Tonya Terry said, sometimes we get complacent when it comes to other people and we need to be reminded that, in our jobs, we are servants,” Moultry said. “We should always treat people with the utmost respect. We must remember that, for the grace of God, we could be in the position of having to seek assistance. And, we need to think how we would want to be treated.”
Moultry said it is important that those in customer service jobs be reminded of why they are there.
“We have to be reminded so we can stay focused on our purpose,” she said. “There’s nothing wrong with being kind. It costs nothing to smile and that smile can mean a lot to someone who is struggling. It was good for me to be reminded of these things.”
Shelia Jackson, public relations and tourism director for the city, said the workshop was well attended and Terry did an outstanding job of relating the importance of a positive attitude and a kind and caring spirit when dealing with customers.
“She told us what we needed to hear,” Jackson said. “I’m sure that we’ll all be more aware of our attitudes and of the impact that our words and actions have, whether they are positive or negative.”