Contract specialists aren’t trained in customer service. Despite this being a huge part of our job, I don’t know of a single contracts person who has had a class on customer service paid for by the government. It’s just not considered. One way to deliver customer service is simply getting to know your customers on a personal level. Did they just get married? What sports do their kids play? How did they get into their line of work? What do they do for fun? What book are they reading?
In contracts, we have the time to do this. We’re not in a call center where our productivity is measured by number of calls successfully completed in under 5 minutes — we’re in a cubicle working out details on an upcoming procurement. This is good. It gives us the time we need to answer complex issues. There are lots of benefits to getting along with your customer. Here are just two:
- The work is easier. The better your relationship with your customer, the easier the work will be. How will your work be easier? Cite personal example Save yourself the headache.
- Better value for taxpayer dollars. The better you get along, the more likely you are to get the best value for taxpayer dollars because you’ll better understand your customer’s needs. Interactions with this client will become more rewarding both personally and professionally.
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