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She loves customer service & customers love her

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She loves customer service & customers love her

Christina Thurner spends a large portion of her days as the office manager at Speedee Oil Change and Tune-Up – a position that she loves because of the relationships that she gets to build with her...

JASON CAMPBELL/The Bulletin


POSTED January 14, 2013 1:11 a.m.

Customers love Christina Thurner.

The office manager at Speedee Oil Change and Tune-Up is bubbly, friendly and cheerful in her disposition – something that spreads around the waiting room as customers get the routine service that their automobiles require.

And she in turn loves her customers.

She asks about their families. Their jobs. Their hobbies when they finally have some downtime.

It makes her somebody that they look forward to seeing when that pesky little service light comes on. She’s ready to put on the smile and make them feel like they’re right at home when they walk through the door.

The Bulletin sat down with her to find out the intricacies of customer service and how to handle those that aren’t always the happiest:

Do you end up forging good relationships with customers?

“Absolutely. I end up with a lot of good relationships with about 75 percent of the people that come in. We talk about everything – their jobs and their families and what they do in their free time. The things that make them happy. It’s great.”

How do you stay positive when an exchange with a customer might not be?

“I tell myself that not every person will be the same and it will always be a new experience. I don’t experience let that carry over in how I treat the next person that I come across – that’s not fair to them.”

You work at an oil change and car repair business. Do you consider yourself a car person?

“I like cars. I really like the new Camaro – especially that green one that drives around Manteca. I like big lifted trucks. And Hondas. Everything that I know about cars today I learned from my job – service intervals and how to maintain your car. And what not to do. I learned that too.”

You’re at a five-star restaurant and you have carte blanche with the menu. What are you ordering?

“Filet mignon with a baked potato and vegetables. And a Long Island iced tea. That’s it.”

Everybody that you work with on a daily basis is male. Does it get pretty aggro being the only female, and what is the relationship like?

“It can be hard sometimes, but it’s really like a brother-sister relationship – you love each other but sometimes you’re ready to kill each other. It really depends on the day. But no matter what you always have each other’s back. That’s really what it’s like here.”

If somebody were to give you tickets to any theme park in America, where would you go and why?

“I’d go back to Disneyworld. It’s like five parks in one, and it’s beautiful. That’s wins out over the others no contest.”

What’s the trick to handling customers that might not be in the best of moods or even outright rude?

“You try your hardest to make them as happy as possible. You have to be kind and courteous and hope to God that you don’t make matters worse.”

If you had to describe Christina to somebody that never met her, how would you do so? Would there be anything that you would intentionally leave out?

“I’d say that I’m nice, thoughtful, courteous, caring and spontaneous. That’s kind of a hard one. I really don’t have a whole lot of secrets or things that people don’t know about me – I’m a pretty open person and a lot of that comes out in my personality.”

Describe a typical day at work.

“I come in and do my cleaning, then I do my paperwork and then I get to socialize with my customers. That’s the best part. That and watching all of the other guys freeze outside while I’m sitting in here all nice and warm.”

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