The Air Force Core Values apply daily

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- When reflecting upon how we can make improvements to our careers, relationships or daily operations, it is no surprise that the application of our core values is a great way to start.

All of us live by the Air Force Core Values but have you ever thought of how to apply them to your daily activities? For example, how can you apply the Air Force Core Values to improving customer service?

Encapsulated below are a few thoughts about applying the Air Force Core Values to enable the provision of good customer service.

Some of this is obvious, while others are intriguing.

Integrity First
- Do what you say you will do
- Be honest and fair
- Have the courage to stand up for the needs of our customers and team members
- As a team, turn good ideas into actions
- Focus on "we" rather than "me"

Having the courage to stand up for the needs of our customers and team members; doesn't that sound like a good definition of what a supervisor, noncommissioned officer or officer in charge or customer or patient advocate does?

Focus on the "we" instead of "me."

We are all part of Team Yokota and represent the best of what America has to offer. We have all pulled together over the past several months to improve processes in preparation to better accomplish our mission and pass the upcoming inspection. We do this as a team because each of our efforts is needed; we succeed as a team. Good on each of you for focusing on the "we."

Service Before Self
- A smile and personal touch are essential
- Demonstrate excellence by providing prompt, courteous, respectful and individualized service to each customer
- Show pride by being positive

Being positive and having a good attitude, to me, this is essential.
Due to fiscal, time and resource constraints, we cannot always provide for the wants of everyone.

In short, at times we must say no.

When you have to say no, it is typically accepted easier if presented positively instead of "we don't do that." Think about your personal interactions with people. Don't you feel more comfortable talking with people who are routinely positive in nature and attitude?

I arrived at Yokota six months ago and it's been high operations tempo from day one. Nonetheless, whether it is talking with people in the hallway, their office or on the flightline in the middle of the night during exercises, it has been a pleasure to interact with all Team Yokota members.

Everyone, if focused on the mission, has their head in the game while doing so with a positive attitude -- Outstanding ... just as our score will be on the upcoming inspection.

Excellence in All We Do
- Competence is the cornerstone of excellence
- Compassion serves as the foundation of excellence
- Treat our customers with caring concern

We need to perform our responsibilities with confidence and competence while treating our customers with sincerity.

Customers want to interact with people who know their job or know what to do when the situation goes beyond the scope of their abilities or assigned duties. This is important in all lines of work.
Think about your expectations and how you feel when you are shopping for something and it seems you know more about the product than the salesperson.

Our pilots, maintainers, doctors, nurses, air traffic controllers and finance clerks hone their skills every day. Likewise our unsung heroes, working as Security Forces or Ready augmentees, manage the challenge of being proficient at both their normal jobs, as well as being the backbone supporting our mobility machine or protecting us and our families.

We are the best trained military force in our nation's history, now is the time to show what we've collectively learned and accomplished as the best Airlift Wing in the Air Force.
How can you summarize the application of the AF Core Values to good customer service?
Core Values applied: Do the right thing, the right way, the first time, every time ... even when no one is watching.

What about the customer that shows up at the end of the day? Doesn't it always happen? You are just about ready to go home and someone shows up or a new issue arises. Do you make it home on time for a hot dinner or to the gym for a basketball game, or do you stay to finish the job?

I can honestly tell you from reading hundreds of customer comment letters throughout my career, some of the most powerful and rewarding compliments come from these situations.

Do the right thing, the right way, the first time, every time ... even when no one is watching.