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37 and Counting Cultivating Positive Relationships Customer Service Empowerment Techniques Opinion

Party of one, anyone?

In the short time since my last post, much of our world has been relegated to a party of one. Shelter-in-place orders are proliferating across the country, and people increasingly are shying away from even minimal interpersonal contact.

To counter the frustration this situation brings, think about what you still CAN do instead of what is now unavailable, illegal or potentially unwise in light of contagion.

Here is a “Top 10” list of things I’ve done in the past week/want to do next week and beyond that I feel provide great customer service…to me!

  • Bought some light weights and resistance straps at Target. In lieu of normal weight workouts and aquatics classes, I’m finding these items provide a substantial workout. I’m using the straps seated in my office chair and so far have found excellent chest, back, shoulder, bicep and tricep workout options. Because these particular straps have three bands, I can adjust resistance. I’ve been doing weights since 1978, and am happily discovering that these purchases provide a whole new workout dimension.
  • Taking walks with ankle and hand weights. When you have weights strapped around your limbs, the exertion level rises perceptibly. A 30-minute walk appears to provide more bang for the exercise buck. (Don’t know how much yet but time will tell.) All shelter-in-place orders I’ve seen permit outside exercise.
  • Puttering in my house and on my lanai. Already a staple, I’m finding additional incentives to get organized and ready for spring.
  • Exploring new technologies and work opportunities. Right now, I’m putting together an interview-based podcast program that will complement thought leadership client offerings. In addition to articles, blogposts, position papers and the like, podcasts provide another communication and marketing tool.
  • Pulled out my unused Lego set purchased at Costco months ago. I loved Lego as a kid when building a space ship meant using rectangular, square and round blocks, period. This rather erudite collection of modern-day bells and whistles will no doubt provide some intrigue, challenge and opportunity. I just need to start playing!
  • Did some reading above and beyond. As a former reporter who grew up in a household with a city editor father, I’m fascinated with how this entire crisis is unfolding. It’s an incredible study in human behavior, and certainly verifies FDR’s quote, the “only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” This quote is from his 1933 Inauguration in the midst of the Great Depression.
  • Regeared my reading to cull out sensationalism and rampant speculation about what “will happen.” While there are many educated guesses based on history and predictive models, we just don’t know the outcome here. I, for one, am weary and wary of the onslaught of fear-mongering headlines and stories that seem less focused on facts and more centered on sensationalism.
  • Cook! Already my favorite hobby, I want to do some culinary exploration. My holdup is that I love to throw small dinner parties. Right now, that’s a party of one. I need to work on cooking just for me this coming week going forward.
  • Figure out ways to provide emotional assistance and support to others. This includes friends, family, colleagues, clients and prospects. I’ve been doing this, and want to ramp it up next week and beyond.
  • Be as kind to others and myself as is humanly possible. Been concentrating on this, and plan to continue whenever and wherever possible. Everyone is experiencing this crisis in their own way. My Job 1 is to provide positive support for how people feel without judgment.

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Establishing consumer awareness, ensuring consumer safety and promoting education are three critical customer service functions. As everything from product counterfeiting to coronaviruses becomes more front-and-center in the eyes of the public, companies need to step up their game to provide critical information and help safeguard the public as best they can.

MARK LUSKY

Read Part 1 of this series:
Coronavirus claims deserve utmost scrutiny, truthtelling.

Read Part 2 of this series:
Sensationalized coronavirus media reports, Trump Administration containment claims damage ‘customer service’

Read Part 3 of this series:
Perfect time to practice ‘peer’ customer service

Do you have customer service snafus or stellar experiences to share? If so, feel free to comment on this post or email your thoughts to mark@marklusky.com.

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.

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