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It is important for all reception desk staff and mail runners to develop great customer service skills. This will make a great impression for visitors, coworkers, and supervisors.  These pages address specific public service concerns and how to provide great service. Customer service includes how we treat both internal (CTR staff, students, researchers) and external customers (UT faculty, TxDOT engineers, the public).

A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work - he is the purpose of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to serve him. - Mahatma Gandhi


Please review the following resources:

  • Examples of bad customer service and not meeting expectations:


  • GOOD customer services to meet expectations:




The language you use plays a huge impact on the outcome of every customer interaction. Use phrases that build rapport and show respect for the client. These are especially important on phone, email, or IM chat conversations where customers cannot see your body language. If you use one of the “phrases to avoid” on an IM chat, you often don’t have time to follow up with anything helpful before they exit the chat room.

This is not a comprehensive list and is not to meant to be a script. It is merely to illustrate good customer service phrases and mindset.

Instead of…


UT jargon & acronyms when talking to non-UT customers/unknown phone callers

Do they even know that they have contacted an office in Texas? Maybe not.

Use the full name: 

The University of Texas at Austin 

Center for Transportation Research 

“No problem”

    • “My pleasure.”
    • “You’re welcome.”
    • “I’m glad I could help."

Followed by:
“Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

Giving vague directions when the destination is not in sight.

(Said to someone unfamiliar with the surroundings or organization of the library)

“I’ll show you where that is.”

"The third door, along this wall"

walk with them to the office / conference room when feasible

“I don’t know.”

“May I put you on hold for a moment while I look that up/handle that issue/etc.?” (wait for an answer)

"Let me find someone who can answer that for you.”

 "That's a great question. Let me see what I can find out."


Always avoid the phrase "that isn't my job"

    • "I don't know the answer to xxxx; however, I think I can find somebody who can help. One moment please." 
    •  "I am not allowed to do xxxx, but [NAME] is authorized to handle this type of situation. May I take your name and number or email address to give a message to him/her when he returns to the office today?"
    • "I am not allowed to do xxxx, but what I can do is xxxx. Will that help?"
    • "I don't have the level of engineering/legal/medical expertise to answer that, however if you need to consult an expert, perhaps one of the experts at [University of Texas Experts guide] / [xxxx office ] could help.


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