On Hiatus

hiatus2copyI am on hiatus from my blog as of June 8, 2015 to complete the rewrites and edits on my current novel “The Rebuilder”. I need to put all my time and focus in this area. Your understanding is appreciated. Update – I am still on hiatus caring for my wife as she recovers from cancer surgery.

Jimmie Aaron Kepler
July 24, 2015

Customer Care Tip – Tell the Customer What You Are Going to Do: The Next Step

Customer Service Tip – Tell the Customer What You Are Going to Do – The Next Step

Let’s face it; we have all had bad customer service experiences. Like me, I bet you can recall the details of every instance of bad service. If you are like most people, you probably told anyone who would listen about your dreadful experience.

The average customer will tell many people of a bad experience. That’s the type of word of mouth advertising we do not want.

One way to avoid painful misunderstandings is to tell the customer what you are going to do. Make sure they understand the next steps in the process.

Here’s a checklist to help:

  1. Recap expectations and follow-up items in a summary form.
  2. Ask the customer if your understanding is correct.
  3. Tell them your name and that you are the person responsible for resolving the issue.
  4. Tell the customer any requirements they have. Examples would be:
    1. What paperwork or documentation do they need to provide?
    2. What format is the paperwork or documentation? Electronic or paper?
    3. When is the paperwork or documentation due?
    4. Contact information if they need help, have questions, or need an extension?
  5. Tell them what to expect from you.
    1. How will you acknowledge receipt of the paperwork or documentation?
    2. How long will it take to process?
    3. What you they expect to receive from you and when?
    4. How is resolution notification handled? The is a great touch point for a courtesy contact of the customer.
    5. Contact information if they have questions or if they feel you are too slow and need a status update.

Having a road map to help the customer understand the next steps is an excellent way to create goodwill. The client has confidence when they have an understanding of the process. Knowing by name a contact person who handles managing their issue is a core ingredient to world-class customer service. You can provide this point of touch even if the follow-up work is someone else’s. The name you give is the one managing the incident or case.

Follow through on all promises. A great plan requires execution. Failure to follow through will lose all the great service and goodwill you work so hard to create.

Customer Service Tip – Tell the Customer What You Are Going to Do – The Next Step


Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Jimmie Aaron Kepler’s work has appeared in six different Lifeway Christian publications as well as The Baptist Program, Thinking About Suicide.com, Poetry & Prose Magazine, vox poetica, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination Literary Magazine and more. His short story stories The Cup, Invasion of the Prairie Dogs, Miracle at the Gibson Farm: A Christmas Story, and The Paintings as well as Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection are available on Amazon.com.

Eastern Inferno: The Journals of a German Panzerjager on the Eastern Front, 1941-43 by Hans Roth, edited by Alexander Christine and Mason Kunze

I have read six books dealing with the Eastern Front in World War II. All were either memoirs written after the fact or traditionally researched works. “Eastern Inferno: The Journals of a German Panzerjager on the Eastern Front, 1941-43” by Hans Roth, edited by Alexander Christine and Mason Kunze is different.

The book is the results of three diaries of Hans Roth. He was accounted as missing in action in 1944. Amazingly a buddy on leave delivered the three volumes of diaries to Roth’s relatives. They cover the years 1941, 1942 and 1943. Sadly, Hans Roth vanishes as another MIA unaccounted for casualty of war.

The diaries are incredible. They show that he viewed part of the actions as being pre-emptive (p. 27). There was a clear fear of the Russians being on German soil and killing his loved ones. We learn that the diaries include content that would have never cleared the censors plus he was glad to keep the horrors away from his dear wife.

The book is spectacular. Hans Roth provided a wonderful service for his family and future generations by recording what he witnessed and what he was ordered to do.

You can feel the fear he felt. You can sense the mixed emotions he experienced. The day to day log of his units actions with his understanding of what was going on are amazing. The detail and description he provides of the surroundings paints a remarkable portrait of the times.

Hans Roth realized that luck was a key part of survival. He makes this clear time and time again. The amount of artillery and equipment the Russians had seems to have caught the Germans by surprise. The aircraft strafing runs and Russian counterattacks in 1941 caught me by surprise. Other works reported little or none on these until 1942 and later.

Note: As I read I could feel the growing fatigue and cynicism Hans Roth had a result of the war. His love of his wife and family shows regularly in his comments. The book is an important resource for anyone interested in the Eastern Front as well as those who want a realistic look at the terrors of war. It is gripping and paints one of the clearest pictures ever of how war is horrendous.

Christine Alexander and Mason Kuntze deserve a big thank you for the editing and translation of this project.


jak-moustacheJimmie Aaron Kepler is a novelist, poet, book reviewer, and award-winning short story writer. His work has appeared in over twenty venues, including Bewildering Stories and Beyond Imagination. When not writing each morning at his favorite coffee house, he supports his writing, reading, and book reviewing habit working as an IT application support analyst. He is a former Captain in the US Army. His blog Kepler’s Book Reviews was named a 100 best blogs for history buffs. He is old enough to collect Social Security if he wants, but not yet old enough for Medicare. You can visit him at http://www.jimmiekepler.com.


Martian Mondays: The Martian Chronicles – Chapter Fifteen: The Musicians

the-martian-chroniclesChapter Fifteen – The Musicians (April 2003/2034)- This story first appeared in The Martian Chronicles. Several boys venture into the ruins of the Martian cities. They go into the houses and play with the debris, imagining that they are on earth, playing with the autumn leaves. Added onto their fun is their chance to play on the “white xylophones”—the ribcages of the Martians. They have a sense of urgency because soon the firemen will take all of their fun away. The firemen are the men who go and clean up the remains of Martians in the ruined cities.

A 1997 edition of the book advances all the dates by 31 years.


Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Jimmie Aaron Kepler’s work has appeared in six different Lifeway Christian publications as well as The Baptist Program, Thinking About Suicide.com, Poetry & Prose Magazine, vox poetica, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination Literary Magazine and more. His short story stories The Cup, Invasion of the Prairie Dogs, Miracle at the Gibson Farm: A Christmas Story, and The Paintings as well as Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection are available on Amazon.com.