“If the medium is the message, we are the medium”

In the first 4 seconds of meeting someone you make a judgement of them, they give you either a good or bad impression. In the first 4 minutes you make a lasting judgement. My first impression of Pauline (although I have met her before) was a good one. She is very passionate and knows what she is talking about. She made me understand how complex Customer Service really is, not a simple “Hi, can I help you?”

We began by discussing the different types of communication, face to face, verbal and non-verbal. This is where someone makes their first impression of you. By the words you speak, the way you say the words and your body language, which to my surprise was the most important at 55%. Whereas words are only 7% and tone 38%. You want to communicate positively and make a fantastic lasting impact, make the customer go away and think about your customer service. Basically you have to put all these different aspects into action to establish a rapport with your customer.

This is something I personally need to work on, as I don’t have the most positive thinking. My body language (to put nicely) needs some working on. I definitely need to improve on the words I use and the tone I use them in. If I plan to be an IT professional I need to work on my study and myself.

We touched a little bit on perception and assumption, the way we think “paradigm shift”. For example when picturing a drunk you might think of a drunk old man swigging from bottles, when that drunk could actually be a Supreme Court judge. Kind of like the famous ad, “Know me before you judge me”.

Pauline mentioned a book she said she read on a plane from New Zealand to England, this book changed her life. “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey”.


“It’s a journey”. It’s all about your beliefs and your attitudes. Your values are important when delivering customer service. If you have caring and empathetic values you don’t “just show up for the pay check”, then you will be great at customer service. The best customer service person is someone with a heart. Be proactive, have mutual respect and understanding and “begin with the end in mind”. I could really see how much this book influenced Pauline and the way she thinks, it has inspired me to add it to my “to read list”.

We were given an activity to do, to discover what our beliefs and values were. When it came to this I was very unsure of myself. Then Pauline asked us to see it as if we were in a coffin, our friends and family are reading our eulogy, what would we want them to say? This made me realise my values are my family and my urge to be helpful. I am motivated by the desire to achieve, be the best that I can be and to live a happy, fulfilled life.

Another activity we did “birds behavioural style survey”. This was to find out what sort of behaviour style we had. I am a dove behaviour, the doves are reliable workers, very compliant and soft hearted. We need to know that we are appreciated. The other birds were; the eagle, dominant, controlling and direct. The owl, analytical, persistent problem solvers. The peacock, social, lively, get their energy from friends. It was interesting to see which behavioural style I was, as I did the same survey last year and I was an owl.

I thought I knew what I needed to know about Customer Service, but there is so much more. It is so complex in ways I would have never dreamed. I probably still haven’t absorbed everything. However, I now see internal and external changes I need to make for myself to be “the best that I can be”.


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