Your Opinion March 14, 2012

By NEMS Daily Journal

Employee attitudes shape customer service perceptions
My hats off to Carlie Kollath on her article “Dear employees, please smile at your customers”. I can tell you that Carlie hit the nail on the head with this one. If you interviewed 100 people 99 of 100 would tell you that they have made buying decisions whether it is a box of Tide or a Nice Meal based on previous customer service. So many times the topic of conversations around us encompass the apathy displayed by employees of all types of businesses. A few examples of my wife and I’s own experience have included going to one of the “home improvement centers” here and loading our own lumber and wood panels while two guys sat there texting and watching as we did their job for them. Same apathy inside the store when we needed help finding things.
This same attitude occurred recently at one of the “Upscale Restaurants” when the waiter ignored our table for 20 minutes but, managed to find time to “shoot the bull” with some of his “regulars”. We have not been back.
Whether a Big Chain Home Improvement Center or an Upscale Restaurant, too many employees at far too many businesses in our town have began taking customers for granted.
This is nothing new for a business to demonstrate this type of attitudes toward its’ customers, it is however particularly ironic to subscribe to this mediocre service in the tough economic environment that exist today. As a matter of fact, it is flirting with “business suicide”.
The good news to this story is this:
We now try to do more shopping at a local family owned and family run “Home Improvement Business” and we discovered we got far better service at several area restaurants that may have less “fluff” but more substance when it comes to not only their customer service but, far superior food at a much better value.
The conclusion here is a message to ALL businesses, we are someones’ customer. Depending on the attitudes of your employees and yourselves determines who we spend our hard earned dollars with. It is the best environment to polish your skills and take your business to a whole other level or…. close up.
Tim Long
Braille education backing sought by House member
The Mississippi House of Representatives is considering a bill that would address inadequacies in the public education of blind and visually impaired students.
Under current law, students who rely on Braille and large-print books often don’t get their textbooks until well after the school year has begun, putting them behind other students and making it harder for blind and visually impaired students to catch up and finish their lessons on time.
Additionally, teachers who teach Braille in our schools are not required to be certified in Braille. In other words, these teachers don’t have to know how to read Braille.
This is a travesty for many students throughout Mississippi, and I and others are working hard to correct this situation. House Bill 960 will require that all books for blind and visually impaired students be available at the beginning of the school year at the same time as other text books. HB960 also requires that teachers who teach Braille be certified in Braille.
While these seem like common sense ideas to most people, there are some special interest groups that want to defeat this bill. For the life of me, I can’t understand why.
First, there are only approximately 50 teachers throughout the state who will need the certification. Second, there is a free correspondence course available from a group in Mississippi who will provide the certification. In other words, it won’t cost the state a dime for this certification.
It’s time we started ensuring that blind and visually impaired students are given the same consideration as other students. Requiring certified teachers and available textbooks should be the least we do for any student, and HB960 will ensure that Mississippi does just that.
Please join me in supporting HB960 by calling your representative and asking them to vote yes on HB960.
Rep. Tom Miles
House District 75

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