Customer Service | Advice & Action

Living the Golden Rule

What is the true meaning of excellent customer service? Words of advice from some of Ottawa County’s Customer Service Award nominees:

  • “Listen to what people are saying to you.”
  • “Always, treat people like they are humans, and handle each interaction with compassion and respect.”
  • “Always be willing to think outside the box for solutions. There is always an answer.”
  • “Be empathetic. Think to yourself, ‘what if I were in their shoes?’ Regard the feelings of others as more important than your own.”

Outstanding Customer Service in Action

Each quarter the Customer Service Team receives numerous nominations for the Customer Service Award. The stories are redacted and submitted to each team member to read. The Customer Service Team members then vote on the ones they found most inspiring. This is an extremely challenging task because the stories are heartfelt, inspiring and depict the true spirit of the Ottawa Way. Many stories are too good to not share.

Sandra Shafer

“Sandy provides an endless selection of food available to the staff at the Grand Haven courthouse. She spends a lot of her spare time preparing meals for those of us who work here and I am sure many of us would starve without her. It is so nice to be able to pick up a quick snack or meal to keep me going all day, as I usually don’t have time to think about that when I am rushing out of my house in the morning. I have a hard enough time making sure my kids get fed, and Sandy helps feed the entire courthouse! So grateful for what she does for her coworkers.”

Karla Snodgrass

“Going above and beyond for a customer who was recording a warranty deed. When Karla compared the legal description on the deed with the Ottawa County Property Search description, she noticed that there was a 7-foot exception included in the warranty deed which was not in the county’s description. Because this property is a part of a plat, she reviewed 10 resolutions that were made for the plat. She also reviewed the amendment to the master deed, the master deed and the adjoining properties – none of which included the 7-foot exception in their descriptions. Karla also contacted the Assessor for Holland City to see if he could figure out why the exception was not included and he was unable to figure it out. Not only did she do all of this work, she also made sure to keep in contact with Ben (who was recording the deed) to let him know that she was still working on trying to figure out the difference in the descriptions. After she completed all of the research, Karla and her supervisor decided to let the deed be recorded as is. Because Karla did all of this extra work, it is evident that she cares about the customers who visit the Treasurer’s Office and also about doing the best job that she can. Therefore, I would like to nominate Karla Snodgrass for an Outstanding Customer Service Award.”

Adam Zantello

“Every time Adam Z. has entered my establishment he not only takes a professional but a personal interest in making sure all staff is informed of the nature of his visit as well as a complete and proper inspection. He does not cut corners and always shows a positive attitude during his routine. Adam is very willing to answer all questions from any team members before, during, and after the inspection. I look forward to his visits knowing I will always learn something new. One thing I can add is that he is the only routine inspector that has ever made the effort to contact us with any answers he did not have at the time of inspection, usually within 24 hours.”

Deputy Josh Barton

“My son was involved in a bad car accident on his way home from work. When I arrived on the scene I was I was very concerned about the well-being of everybody, especially my son. Deputy Barton took the time to calm me down and explain that everybody was ok and explain what had happened to the best of his knowledge. Deputy Barton’s demeanor during a stressful time was exemplary. I  would like to thank Deputy Barton for his professionalism during this incident.”


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