You call a company and expect quality customer care. A friendly, welcoming voice that assures all your needs will be taken care of to the best of their ability (and within company policy of course). That first customer experience is key; it’s one of those interactions that can leave you with a wide toothed smile on your face or some choice words running through your head that are better left unspoken. Though I have only been on this planet a mere 27 years, I can honestly say that I’ve had my fair share of both experiences. When you’ve had more than a few terrible experiences with company reps who are supposed to help you, it’s bound to have an effect on you. While the temporary effect of negative service has me fuming or muttering, “Boy I oughta’s,” I’m happy to report that I haven’t turned into a cynic who loathes the customer service department of every company I come in contact with.
As a new account manager, daily working to service insurance accounts, every awful and wonderful customer service encounter I’ve ever had echoes in my mind. I’m a perfectionist and I struggle when a situation doesn’t pan out in an ideal way. Though I am getting better in dealing with the unplanned and unexpected, there are times when I’m frozen in fear and sheer panic if I don’t know the answer, or when my fingers are working faster than my brain on my little keyboard. “What am I supposed to do? How am I going to answer? How long has there been no one talking? Come on Jessica, say something. Anything!”
So how do I manage to get through my 8 hour day? One, our customers. Not every day is perfect, but you have no idea the joy that radiates in me from a simple thank you or for the customer who tells me to have a great day. Two, praise be that I work in an environment that is nurturing, yet challenging. Praise be for co-workers who come to my rescue with encouragement and ways to find answers to my unending questions! And a definite shout out to the co-workers who are able to laugh with me when my clumsy self falls out of my seat flat on my back.
I realized in the past few months that I spend over 40 hours a week with my co-workers. Holy smokes! 40 HOURS PEOPLE! That’s over 1/5 of the hours I have in a week. That’s a big chunk of my life interacting with others that I don’t live with. Yet, my co-workers are my family. They are my support, my network, part of my everyday life that I can’t escape. It’s an environment like no other I’ve ever been a part of. You can tell they genuinely care. Paperwork still gets processed, deadlines are still required to be met, the phones ring like crazy some days, but I am truly part of a team.
So, I’m writing all this to say thank you.
Carol, for every time you’ve brought donuts into the office and for our early morning talks. :)
Danielle, for taking pictures of the hilarious, yet unfortunate chair incident and our instant bond when I started over 2 years ago.
Kels, for your dedication to be efficient and your passion for ministry.
Melissa, for your morning hugs and countless other quirks.
Connie, your organization and open door policy always make me feel welcome.
Jody, for our wellness walks and being my partner in crime when we were the only two holding down the fort.
Jen, for your caring spirit, infectious laugh and listening ear.
Dave, you dream big friend, and you always are looking for new ways to improve!
Lori, you were my saving grace. Keep up the positive attitude girl!
Phil, you are always there to explain the “why” and your patience with me is that of the saints.
Wendy, your wealth of knowledge and passion to see projects through is impressive and inspiring.
Tom, you’ve got some puns my friend!
Spite and Mike, you have been some of my biggest encouragers when I was struggling.
Laidig, I admire your drive and personal touch. You make each of your clients feel important.
Bryan, your leadership for our company can hardly be topped. Your work ethic is unmatched!
Timmay, you always bring a smile to my face when you enter our office!
Jamie, you know just when to send the right meme when I need it and your knowledge of Wolverine can’t be beat!
Beth, though you work remotely now, I still miss your baked goods!
Tony, thank you for always saying good morning, giving me tips as a past account manager and your quick wit.
Each one of you are a blessing to me. Thank you for your patience. You are my coworkers and you make work bearable on long days when I feel overwhelmed. You are my family and I want to you to know how wonderful you are.