THE ‘WATER’ WAY: Terry teaches keys to customer service

Published 4:00 am Thursday, June 7, 2018

The most important piece of a puzzle is the one missing piece.

A puzzle with a missing piece goes unfinished.

And that’s just how important each person’s job or position is in the workplace.

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If one person doesn’t do his or her part, then a job is lacking, said Tonya Terry, the speaker/facilitator at Troy Public Relations and Tourism’s Customer Service Workshop Wednesday at the Johnson Center for the Arts.

Terry, WSFA news personality, came out of the blocks with the same joyful attitude that she displays each early morning on “Today in Alabama.”

“I’ve been at WSFA for more then a decade and it has been a happy time,” Terry said. “I’ve been blessed to be in such a special place.”

Terry told the gathering of city and business employees that it is important to put on a happy face when serving the public. And, just as importantly, a positive attitude is contagious among one’s coworkers.

“When you have a passion for what you do, you will find happiness in what you do,” Terry said. However, she added, that sometimes the passion wanes and has to be rekindled.

“When it does, try new things, learn new things, do new things,” Terry said. “Look for ways to make things exciting. Be creative; be expressive. Do something different, something fun. Look at life with fresh eyes. Bring back the passion to your work.”

Going above and beyond what is expected is always the way to go, Terry said.

“Be gung-ho at work; stay on top of things. Let others know through your actions that you like your job. Even if you are having a bad day, don’t let anyone else know.”

Feeling good is a good start to any day. Terry said it is important to do the things that foster good health. including diet and exercise.

When Terry began her fitness journey, she learned the importance of water. Now she makes water a priority.

The body is composed of about 60 percent water. Drinking water helps maintain the balance of body fluids. Terry, laughingly said, when she began her fitness journey, she was drinking about one glass of water a day, “maybe.”

Terry is now drinking more water and has also subscribed to the acronym WATER as a guide for a happy and healthy way of life.

“The letter W is for Wardrobe,” she said. “You want to look good and feel good in what you have on and you want look professional. If you wear a uniform, it should be clean and neat.

“A is for attitude. Always respond in kind. Be positive and supportive. Put on that happy face.”

The letter T is for talent. Some people are born with talent; others have to work diligently to achieve their goals. But, Terry said, those who work hard and persevere, those who stay sharp, work hard and go beyond what is asked for them will be high achievers.

E is for eager.

“Don’t stand back and wait for someone else to get things moving,” Terry said. “Be a self-starter. Be the go-getter that makes things happen. Be a part of finding a solution and be a part of the solution.”

The letter R means reliable. “Be reliable. Be someone that others can count on,” Terry said. “That means a lot in the workplace and in life. Be that someone.”

Shelia Jackson, Public Relations and Tourism director for the City of Troy, said the Customer Service Workshop brought members of the business community together for a day of fellowship and training in ways to provide better service to the customers they serve.

“We want every customer who comes through our doors to leave having been courteously served,” Jackson said. “Tonya is often the first face that hundreds of people see each workday. The way they view her often sets the mood for their day. It’s like that for all of us in customer service. We have the chance to influence the kind of day our customers are having. We want to make sure that influence is positive.”

Jackson thanked Terry for a motivating and inspiring presentation.

“I believe everyone left realizing that we can influence a customer’s attitude in a positive way or a negative way,” Jackson said. “And what we do is up to each of us.”