You may have never realized being a parks and recreation worker would also mean being in customer service. When working in a park or recreation centre, you are often seen by the public as the person with all of the answers, or the sounding board for complaints. To many, this is a daunting part of the job, but it doesn’t have to be!
Here are our top 5 tips for responding to the public:
1. Wear a smile!: When responding to the public, attitude is everything. If you approach someone with a smile and pleasant attitude, your conversation will likely go a lot more smoothly and positively.
2. Ask how you can help: Show you are there for them, and want to be of assistance. This will make them trust you and shows you care. You are opening the door for the conversation to continue, rather than shutting them down.
3. Listen carefully: Sometimes, people just need a listening ear. They don’t need answers, they just want their thoughts or concerns heard. Take the time to listen without judgement or interrupting. Be a good listener. Listen to words and tone of voice, pay attention to body language, and most importantly, recognize feelings.
4. Be honest: Sometimes people ask questions that you might have the answer to. Answer them as honestly and fully as you can. If you don’t have the answer, just say so. It is always better to say you don’t know and give them the number of your supervisor, than to make up an answer you think they want to hear.
5. Change your perspective: Somethings you will be confronted with a difficult person. Remember that if you can’t change them, you can at least change how you perceive them and how you react. When you remain pleasant and undisturbed it makes it hard for the other person to continue being combative. Keeping yourself calm will often have a calming effect on others.
What are your tips for dealing with members of the public? Share your success stories in the comments!
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