sender and a receiver and a message that is understood
by both. The interference (lack of understanding or
distraction) that garbles the message becomes a barrier
between the sender and receiver. In this case, the
receiver should ask for a repeat or explanation.
Misunderstood information may be worse than no
information. It can result in disappointment, frustration,
missed opportunities, or improper actions by the
receiver. Following are some causes of interference that
the AK should know:
The customer was vague about the particulars of
The AK used unfamiliar terms, acronyms, or
Because the AK understood the subject so well,
it was not explained as thoroughly as it should
The AKs attitude inferred that the customer and
the problem are not important.
Other problems were bothering the customer.
The customer felt rushed.
The customer lacked the confidence in the AKs
ability to provide correct information.
Since you serve as the single point of contact to
provide aviation supply support and services, the
customers have no other place to go for answers. You
should ensure that the customer understands the
message. Language barriers also exist with the contact
point representative. Wherever the barriers exist, you
should make a conscious effort to eliminate them or to
compensate for them. To compensate, you should speak
slowly and give listener time to follow and interpret
what was said or to ask questions. There are several
types of language barriers that interfere with
communications. Some are cultural, some are physical,
some are habit, and some are intended to confuse.
Cultural and physical barriers are the most difficult for
the speaker to overcome. Individuals for whom English
is a second language often have difficulty with
pronunciation, meaning, and sentence structure. Speech
impediments also cause misunderstandings. Some
speech habits that interfere with understanding are
slurred pronunciation, running words together, speaking
too fast, exaggerated drawl or brogue, and profanity.
When a customer with one of these speech defects
comes for service, concentrate on WHAT is being
saidnot HOW it is said. This will reduce distractions
to a minimum.
The inability to differentiate between routine and
priority will keep you from fulfilling responsibilities to
customers. Routines or procedures will enable you to do
jobs easier, faster, and more accurately. Thus, they are
the methods used to achieve the contact point
goal-service to customers. If routines are allowed to
become the goals, the effectiveness of the contact point
will suffer. In the AK billet, routines are to serve people,
not people to serve routines.
Satisfying Customer Needs
As previously discussed, a customers needs can be
satisfied either by you or through referral to other units
that perform the job required by the customer. In large
activities where specialization is implemented, it is
difficult for the customer to find the right desk or office.
When you refer a customer to another location, be
courteous. Always give good directions or take the
customer to the area, if possible. If additional action will
have to be taken later, you and the customer should agree
on who will initiate the future action. The customer
should have no doubts about WHAT must be done,
WHEN it should be done, and WHO is to get it started.
It may help to repeat basic information just before the
Answering questions requires a sizeable amount of
patience. Some of the questions are repeats by the same
customer or another customer. In all cases, questions
deserves the courtesy of an answer.
You must provide correct and up-to-date informa-
tion to the customers. People obtain information from
many sources. Even when they have heard and
interpreted it correctly, it may not be correct. This
incorrect information is usually revealed through
conversation with the customer. Regardless of where
this incorrect information was obtained, you should
The filing system and record keeping help provide
good customer service. You use them as a proof for
material delivery, signature of the person that accepted
the material or service, history of events, and so on.
When good customer service is provided, the
PROBLEM that was countered by a solution becomes
a TEMPORARY SITUATION.