Saturday, January 14, 2006


Happy New Year!

I realize I have been remiss with my posting. I was kindly reminded of the fact by my friend Francisco. He mentioned he was wondering what I was up to so he dropped by TIPS and found...nada nuevo.
It's not that I have nothing to say, ponder, be opinionated about, I just think that at this moment what I have to share doesn't really apply to Customer Service.

But, to appease Francisco I will share an experience and some thoughts on that experience (and it is associated to tourism so I can post it here):

During the first week of the year a classmate of my younger sister came down from Georgetown University for a visit. Céline Giuliani is a native of France, and wanting to learn about a new culture she spent a week here in Puerto Rico.
My sister took her sightseeing, dancing, and dining, and Céline also shared with our family el Día de los Reyes celebration (a latin Christmas tradition) .

The few opportunities I had to share with her, I saw how fascinated,pleased, and how much she was enjoying her vacation. She loved the sights, the weather, the food, the people, our music and our Spanglish, and I began to see my island through her eyes.

I realize that after you have lived in a certain place most of your life you begin to take it for granted. I especially felt this the day before my sister and Céline were to return to Washington. We went to the beach and Céline got herself a very nice tan (not the spa kind), and had us get her some CD's of Raggaeton music to take home with her.

I remember telling her that not many people could boast about going to the beach and getting a tan in January (not in Washington anyway). And that's when it hit me!

How lucky am I to live on an island where I can go to the beach year round?
An island that has various bioluminescent bays, a rain forest, fresh seafood, many talented actors, athletes & musicians, and is rich and diverse in culture and history.

Extremely Lucky! (considering there are many people who have never seen an ocean).

So, in the week since Céline's departure, I can attest my outlook has changed quite a bit (in various areas, not just tourism). I am more appreciative of everything that surrounds me, and I'm enjoying those "little things" that people seem to miss when everyday stresses get in the way. So I am taking a step back and just enjoying the view, the weather, the food and the people.

Merci Céline! I know how sad it made you to leave, remember...mi casa es tu casa. There's always next Christmas!
And since you'll be practicing your Spanish, I'll be sure to polish up on my French (which is extremely limited).

I'm including two pictures which Céline was gracious enough to send me.

One was taken in La Parguera, Lajas when we went to see the Bioluminescent Bay, the other was taken in Guanica on the day before she left.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

My Christmas Card to You

Happy Holidays!

May this New Year be better than the last.

Wishing you much health, peace, love and prosperity.

May you obtain most of what you desire, strive and hope for.

And remember:

- If God brings you to it. He will bring you through it.

- Do for others with no desire of returned favors. We should all plant some trees that we'll never sit under.

... and my personal favorite. Carpe Diem! Seize the day, make your life extraordinary!

Best Wishes,
Diana ;oDD

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Scattered Thoughts

I started working at a law firm a few weeks ago. I've been getting everything "organized" in my life. Change is good!

Now I think I can join a circus. I've become quite the juggler...work,kids,life,kids,chores,kids,sleep,kids... did I mention kids?

I am enjoying my job a lot. I especially like the fact that I put into practice (on a regular basis) everything I comment on. I find myself making mental references to different things that appear here (I'm starting to hear Gil's voice in my head,quoting himself).

So I've come to the conclusion that service is like tying your shoe, getting dressed or even breathing. I admit, it's not the first time I've thought this, just the first time I've mentioned it. Once you make it a part of your everyday life you just do it, you don't think about how to be kind, friendly, helpful etc... Service becomes a part of you, it's a disease ( a good one if such a thing exists). Go out and spread the virus! The more people that are infected the better.

Speaking of viruses, I have a cold and I'm beginning to feel the effects of the cold medication. So I bid you Adieu and wish you, who are reading, a very Happy and Peaceful Thanksgiving Day!

--Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold. (Maurice Settle)


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Service First

By Diana Figueroa

Why service first?

The movie You’ve Got Mail keeps coming to mind.

You have a local bookstore (A) which might be put out of business by a much larger operation (B). Store (A) could simply tuck its tail between its legs and call it a day without fighting for a piece of the pie. (A) could think, “(B) is so much bigger than I, what can I offer clients that (B) can’t?”

Customer Service.

There is something to be said about walking into a store and being welcomed and treated as if you were family, with warmth and respect. Being notified when new merchandise that you like is received, or having it reserved especially for you. Knowing that you are a valued customer. (Company A)

Opposed to walking in and feeling like cattle, just one more out of a bunch. Fending for yourself in trying to find what you’re looking for. Being a nameless face, a dollar sign. The value is in the money not the person spending it. ( Company B)

In which store would you rather spend your hard earned money?

Company (A), values you as a person and customer, does everything they can to cater to specific needs by providing quality service personally and product wise. Or…
Company (B), who values your money, provides for the masses and whose employees are to busy alternating between complaining to each other about work and looking at the time clock.

Service sells.

The type of service you provide can make or break a company. It is NOT enough to have a marketable product, an excellent promotional campaign, an attractive spokesperson, merchandise from floor to ceiling, lots of employees. If your service is mediocre your days in business are numbered.

Service is especially useful in smaller companies which don’t have the sales volume of larger ones. Since the competition is so fierce, smaller companies depend on excellent service and added values to keep current customers and generate positive word of mouth to obtain new ones.

The most important tool companies have for gaining and keeping customers is Service . Bigger isn’t always better. Quality over quantity.

Always Make Service First!


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Following Through on "Follow Through"

Hello! Once again Carol contacted me with a comment about a previous post. I have included that email in today's post. Thanks Carol!!! Keep 'em coming!

You had a post 17-Aug about "follow through" that I
> intended to reply to, but haven't. (NOW I am
> finally "following through" on it!). Sometimes being
> able to follow through requires understanding the
> context of answers that you receive.
> I used to work in Mexico a lot. My company had
> subsidiaries there, as well as a joint venture with
> a large US company to produce pigs. I spent a lot
> of weeks at the hog farms working with a man from
> North Carolina who had never been outside of the US
> before he went to Mexico.
> The first two trips, Bill and I didn't go at the
> same time. After that, however, it became obvious
> that he and I needed to travel together. Bill had
> no concept of Mexican culture, therefore had no idea
> of how to "filter" the answers he was receiving.
> Bill asked for several things, and in each case the
> answer was, "Si, si, si, Señor." Yet when Bill
> returned the next time, nothing was done. Not one
> single project was started - much less completed.
> Bill was EXTREMELY frustrated.
> What Bill didn't understand, however, was what those
> "Si" answers really meant. Bill didn't recognize the
> nonverbal clues- eyes glazing over, heads nodding in
> rhythm instead of in comprehension...
> Bill received what I call the "Mañana Yes."
> "Mañana" does not mean tomorrow. It means "NOT
> TODAY." Could be tomorrow. Could be next week.
> Could be next year, but it's NOT TODAY .
> When the local guys were answering ,"Si, si," they
> were really saying, "Yes, I don't understand you."
> "Yes, I don't have a clue what you really want."
> "Yes, I cannot do it." They couldn't follow through
> because they didn't know what to do. They were
> willing to do the work, but not able to do it
> because they didn't understand what Bill requested.
> But culturally it would have been impolite to tell
> Bill "No," so they replied with a "yes" that
> deferred the problem until another day.
> In business it is important to understand the
> context of replies.
The spoken words alone may not
> convey the true meaning. You have to be able to
> hear beyond the words and understand what the other
> party is really communicating. That requires active
> listening - understanding context, and looking for
> nonverbal clues as well as hearing the words.>
> You will be a more effective business person if you
> can see the broader picture and understand the
> context of words. What people SAY may not be what
> they MEAN, and understanding their meaning allows
> you to address their real concerns and more
> effectively follow through.

> Take care,
> Carol

** Comments are welcome diana.tips@gmail.com **