By Ms. Jessica Marie Ryan (IMCOM Europe)September 7, 2017
CHIÈVRES, Belgium -- Gloria Daniels stood in front of the classroom and showed a video titled "Johnny the Bagger." The video narrated the true story of "Johnny," a young man with Down syndrome whose brilliant idea transformed the customer-service culture at a grocery store.
After showing the video, Daniels asked her audience to think about how they can put their thumbprint on customer service at U.S. Army Garrison Benelux. The room went silent as the audience paused to reflect on the video's message.
The video was a part of Operation Excellence, U.S. Army Installation Management Command's customer service training, which garrison employees attended August 31. The training is aligned with the command's Service Culture Initiative, which represents the long-term commitment to delivering programs and services with a sense of individual pride, professionalism and in keeping with the spirit of Army values.
In the past, OPEX training was mandatory for Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation employees. According to Daniels, the training recently became mandatory to all IMCOM professionals including U.S. and host nation employees.
Daniels drew from her work experience, specifically as a housing management assistant at USAG Benelux and her 20 years of military service. During her Navy career, she once served as the leading petty officer in charge of guest services operations for both former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama at Camp David.
Customer service has revolved around her military and civilian career.
"When I was young and in the early stages of my military career, I didn't see the potential that I had to work at such a prestigious place such as Camp David. My mind wasn't thinking about the future in that way. I had not only family but leaders and mentors that were molding me into the type of person to do motivated and enthusiastic customer service," she said. "I think I am able to help spread the word about customer service."
Daniels encouraged participants to think about how their customer service can impact the community.
"I want to refresh everyone's minds on a thumbprint that they can put on their customer service," she added. "It is very important for me to get everyone to understand that every one of us is very important to the garrison's mission. This class isn't just for customer service to our external customers but also for within our garrison such as our internal customers."
Attendees discussed ways they can enhance customer service at the garrison. While attendees often deal with external customers, some saw the training lessons as a way to enhance customer service with internal customers, such as their co-workers.
For instance, Christine Debaere, administrative officer for the USAG Benelux command group, suggested "going the extra mile and trying to help them [internal customers] or refer them to someone who can help them."
As class instruction concluded, Daniels reminded attendees about the importance of customer service to the workplace.
"Most of our day is at work. Make it an enjoyable place," she said.