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When a co-worker recently asked me, “are you a professional organizer?” I was caught off-guard. I, most assuredly, am not, and the chance of me being one is laughable to anyone who has ever lived with me or stepped foot in my apartment. In fact, my then-four-year-old nephew, upon entering my living room, stated, “It doesn’t look very good in here.”

So, what did I do that prompted my co-worker’s question? I’m inclined to believe it’s the result of some excellent customer service and use of my creativity, observational, and listening skills.

When I applied for my position in the 3Q Digital office in Burlington, VT, it was advertised as ‘Office Assistant with a Supportive Touch’. Part of my role is to make the work environment comfortable and pleasant (which, really, shouldn’t we all be doing anyway?). In addition to gathering lunch orders, shopping for groceries and supplies, and facilitating local perks, I optimize the work space for functional ease (i.e. decorate, clean, and organize).

What are some things I’ve done?

Key hooks by the main entry

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Our office is divided into a few separate suites, and a co-worker mentioned it might be a good idea to hang the key by the main entry to make it easy to grab on the way to another suite. I listened and took action. Coincidentally, the key rings I ordered to use for this fit perfectly around the hanging bar in our supplies cabinet, so a few spare keys are hanging from there for safe-keeping and are less likely to get lost than had we stuck with our prior approach of ‘stick it on the shelf and dig around for it when needed.’

Supply cabinet makeover

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Our supply cabinet is actually a wardrobe-style piece, and there was a lot of empty/underutilized space in there! I bought some small shelving units to break the space up and then sorted existing supplies by type (e.g. medicine/First Aid, writing utensils). One benefit after doing this was that it was then much more obvious to me what we needed to restock so I could ensure I added it to the next supplies order.

Here’s what really wowed that co-worker: I listened when someone mentioned it would be helpful to have a way to store loyalty cards that makes them easily accessible, and I found a solution that worked.

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Yes, my new-found status of organization guru can be attributed to these adhesive business card holders that I stuck inside the door of our snack cabinet.

Part of providing excellent customer service is listening to requests and suggestions, or even recognizing a need that the customer may not fully realize is there. It’s seeking ways to make things better, even when nothing is wrong or broken. It’s using improvisation and creative thinking to identify novel approaches to doing things or using existing resources. It’s taking time to think things through and experiment with thoughts and ideas. I used these approaches to wow my colleagues. How can we use them to wow our clients?