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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201159 Find in a Library
Title: Community Relations: Exceptional Customer Service
Journal: Law and Order  Volume:51  Issue:6  Dated:June 2003  Pages:103-106
Author(s): Gerald W. Garner
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 4
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article provides advice to both sworn and civilian police personnel regarding positive interaction with "customers" who are seeking services and responses from a police agency.
Abstract: Good customer service flows from excellent communication skills. This involves both verbal and nonverbal skills. Positive nonverbal communication includes maintaining a pleasant facial expression and voice tone, as well as having an open posture as opposed to crossed arms and a defensive or aggressive manner. Regarding verbal communication, avoid police jargon and use a vocabulary appropriate to perceptions of the customer's frame of reference. Further, listen carefully to the need being expressed by the customer and what the customer expects from the officer or the police agency. The officer should be truthful about the services the police can provide and indicate what steps can be taken to address the customer's request. If the services being requested are not appropriate for the police, then suggestions should be offered as to other sources of help. Ultimately, the police officer should focus on helping the customer address the problem or complaint being presented. Officers must be disciplined not to react in kind to angry customers. Frontline civilian police employees who deal with customers must adopt similar mannerisms and communication techniques. The customer must not be given the impression of being "brushed off" or having his/her needs minimized or ignored. In the final analysis, customers should be treated by police personnel in the way the personnel themselves would like to be treated in similar circumstances.
Main Term(s): Police human relations training
Index Term(s): Communication techniques; Nonverbal communications; Police-citizen interactions
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