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Are Your Customers VIP’s?

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Michael McMillen
  • 339th Recruiting Squadron
My recruiting colleagues will tell you that I love combining work and play. As a motorcycle enthusiast I've managed to log thousands of miles between recruiting offices, high schools, and training meetings.

On a recent trip to visit a recruiter I stopped by a local dealership to purchase new riding gloves. While in the dealership a shiny new 2011 model caught my eye. It was beautiful! I read about the new model in magazines but this was the first one that I saw on the dealership floor, available for purchase!

I walked around the bike for some time before a salesman approached. He tried to "sell" me on the features and benefits of this particular model. There was no need. I was already sold! He asked some basic qualifying questions and recorded my answers on a sheet of paper. I watched him write to verify that my personal information was being recorded accurately when I saw him record a strange answer: Very Important Person (VIP)-NO.

At that particular moment his response had no affect on me. I was full of emotion and wanted to work out a deal! The salesman proceeded to "close" the deal and I explained that I was married and would need to consult my wife on such a large purchase. We set a telephone follow-up for later that evening and I rode home.

Once at home I managed to "sell" my wife on the idea. I paced the floor waiting for my phone to ring. The evening came and went. No follow-up phone call. As I stood in the kitchen washing dishes it all hit me! I wasn't a VIP!

In the days that followed I found the motorcycle at another dealership. This time, I was treated as a customer should be: like a VIP. The ensuing result was a sale for the dealership and a new motorcycle for this summer's "work."

The above scenario plays out similarly in Air Force Recruiting Service daily. We all have customers. How we treat our customers determines our level of success. As a production recruiter your customers are applicants, parents, and high schools, to name a few. If you're a Military Entrance Processing Station Liaison your customer is the recruiter, the applicant, operations, and MEPCOM.

Do you realize who your customers are and do you treat them like VIP's? Do you follow-up when you say you will? Do you go out of your way to make processes and procedures simple for your customers? If you don't, you should start now.

Treat each person with dignity and respect. Treat them like a VIP! Your next sale and your success are depending on it!