I’ve known and worked with Lois Deveneau since the early nineties, when my gray hair hadn’t yet bloomed and my waistline was trim and taut. Lois is the principal of Freelance Creative Support Services, whose motto is “I help people get stuff done.” She does…and then some. Lois offers customer service excellence via her creativity, initiative and brilliance.
Lois is my once-in-a-lifetime stalwart colleague who continues to amaze me on a regular basis with her insights, ideas and innovation. She’s thirsty to learn “new stuff” and figure out strategic and timely ways to deploy it on my behalf.
When I was contemplating my website redo, Lois offered to put something together based on framework content. The resulting design, production and strategic positioning/use of content still gives me joy every time I look at it. I am proud to showcase my website in part because of her superlative customer service performance that scored an 11 of a scale of 1-10.
This year, she assembled a wonderful campaign to celebrate my 36th year in business. She took the initiative to develop and deploy a series of promotional videos, put together a vibrant and exciting social media sharing plan for my anniversary blogposts, added pertinent references to my website, and just generally shepherded the entire campaign. Often, it’s hard to promote yourself. Lois made it easy and fun.
While she provides a lot of lofty input, Lois also is down to earth. She helps me “get stuff done” in a detailed, clear fashion. Responsibilities range from organizing a Trello board to keep track of projects, clients and ideas to handling all the perfunctory responsibilities pertinent to posting, sharing, linking, reviewing content and recommendations, and general housekeeping. It’s rare to find someone who dwells in such a creative realm while still being willing and able to handle the basics that aren’t always so creative and exciting. No prima donna here.
Another customer service-oriented realm is her reliable availability when I need to brainstorm, vent, collaborate, get another perspective, et al. While I mostly enjoy working in a “me, myself and I” environment, it’s refreshing and revitalizing to share with Lois.
Other customer service-related benefits Lois brings to the table are:
- Investment in results. Lois bends over backwards to get the job done, no matter what obstacles present themselves.
- Meeting deadlines reliably. Lois also is punctual and tuned into communication with clients, strategic partners and the like.
- Having my back. She makes me look good with clients and other colleagues!
Reasonable pricing. She’s always invested in outcomes and has adjusted her pricing when unanticipated obstacles crop up.
- Being extremely well-read. She is current, informed and consistently takes the initiative to expand the knowledgebase. Another way of putting it: Lois is a constantly-updated expert with encyclopedic knowledge.
- Common sense. Today, more than ever, common sense is all too uncommon. Lois brings it to the table in spades.
- Excellent intuition. She knows when to advocate strongly for a position and when to “go with the flow.”
- Trustworthiness. Usually, I put this at the top of my list. With Lois, it’s just a given.
Working with Lois is a delight. I like, trust and respect her. Isn’t that the foundation of great customer service?
In December, we’re celebrating customer service joy. There are many positive stories that can get overlooked amid accounts of negative and inadequate customer service. These positive accounts are proving contagious, as increasingly companies across the country are making top-notch customer care a top priority.
Mark Lusky is a veteran writer, storyteller and author, with 40+ years of public relations, advertising, marketing and journalism experience. Author of A Wandering Wondering Jew… and co-author of Don’t Get Mad, Get Leverage, Mark (aka The Happy Curmudgeon) is the owner of a Denver-based marketing communications firm celebrating 36 years in business in 2018.