Customer Service Brought Me to Tears

Customer Service Brought Me to Tears

I have never been moved to tears, in a positive way, by a customer service person in my life. Today that changed. I want to say that the rep that helped me, gave me support and assistance for a very difficult situation. She is an amazing spirit and has a beautiful soul. Chase, you have one amazing employee in your midst. I was so struck by her support, sincerity, and general concern for me that I began tearing up.

I really don’t want to get into the situation I needed help with, that isn’t important here. What I want to focus on is what she did as a true professional. The reality of my situation is one of frustration and slight embarrassment. And this breath of fresh air and positivity was just what I needed.

If you are in a position of helping others in your job take notice of what I am about to tell you. It will change the way you interact with everyone in the future. If you have a staff that directly connects with your customers, they need to understand this as well.

She was kind and pleasant to me right from the start of the conversation. I began explaining my situation and she listened. She was present in our conversation and absorbed everything I said. She must have felt my nerves and reservation with having to make such a call. She let me finished without interrupting.

When she spoke, her voice was supportive. She acknowledged the complexity of the situation and acknowledged my desire to do the right thing for the right reasons. And she also appreciated that there was a great deal of pride involved in what I was requesting. She never faltered and never judged.

She began by connecting with me on a personal level and sharing a similar experience and how she completely understood my request. She suggested some options to make things better. We talked through those options. I informed her it was important to me that I was doing the right for everyone involved. She thanked me for my concern and caring for what I was asking for.

Then she went the extra mile. Placed me on hold. She wasn’t gone long, but what she did in that brief moment changed my perspective of the human spirit. As she spoke she was professional and heartfelt in what she could do to help me. As she spoke I could feel the weight of this issue slowly releasing the burden I was carrying.

We agreed on the best path forward. She offered me her personal story with a similar circumstance and how she got through it. She provided me a quote of encouragement and told me she would pray for me to have a better day and to have a quick resolution of my circumstances.

I just simply said thank you, as the first tear touched my cheek. It amazed me how overcome I was with emotions at such a simple customer service interaction. If you want to make a difference in this world, it doesn’t take much. It just takes your willingness to connect with another human being with caring, concern and genuine empathy.

Today I am a Chase customer for life because of you. I really wish I would have gotten her name. What I can tell you is I will never forget her.

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I Am Different

I am Different

I think deep down inside we all know we are different. Do we really understand what means? Why is being different good or ok? We strive so hard to be accepted and liked by those around us. Whether we look for acceptance at work or at our kid’s school functions. We want others to see us as a normal human being that they would like to be around.

So…what happens when we find out we are different. It depends. Let me tell you a quick story that happened to me when I was 19 and being treated for Leukemia. I know, that makes me really different already.

I was going through a 4-day physical to help the doctors understand if I was a candidate for a bone marrow transplant. That was 1987, the doctors and researchers were still trying, like the dickens, to understand this procedure.

Anyway, one of the test I had to go through was a full dental exam and dental work if needed. I was told that I could not have any dental work done for at least 6 to 12 months, post-transplant. So, any work I might need had to be done now.

I was being seen at the University of Minnesota Hospital for this physical and eventual treatment. The orderly wheeled me to the dentist office, which was connected to the hospital through some over-the- street walk-ways. I was wearing my normal hospital uniform. Or at least that is the way I saw it, a uniform. It was boxer shorts, a t-shirt, hospital robe, hospital slippers and a very uncomfortable, specially designed face mask. That with my very, very chemo thinned hair was not a very attractive look.

I told the orderly I could find my way back to the hospital room by myself. It was ok if she left. She did and once my appointment was over I started my walk back. However, I forgot how to get back. Within minutes I found myself outside in the warm September sun walking towards one of the prettiest college girls I had ever seen.

I put on my charming, macho walk and attempted to make eye contact from a distance. As we got closer our eyes finely connected and she gave me a sheepish grin. As she looked away I knew what I was seeing. It wasn’t the flirtatious grin I was expecting. It was the grin of “I don’t know what is wrong with you, but I feel sorry for you”. It was at that moment that I felt different. I felt broken. I felt like I wasn’t able to make meaningful friendships with others because of my health. I was heartbroken.

It took me years to appreciate the message in the moment. What it taught me is that no matter who enters my life, they need to know they have hope, they are welcome, they have purpose. I know it can be tough to be overly empathetic, especially in the business world, but I think that is where it is needed most.

As leaders, we need to empathize with our employees in a way that makes them feel important, a part of the team and values the fact the they are different and unique. The experiences and insights they possess might be just want the company needs.

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There’s a Dry Sheet Hanging from My Sleeve?

There's a Dry Sheet Hanging from My Sleeve?

Have you ever gone to work or out in public and had no clue that you got dressed in an odd manner? I went to work once with a dryer sheet hanging just a half inch or so out of the sleeve of my shirt. It wasn’t until nearly an hour in to my day that someone else noticed it. I pulled out the dryer sheet and just laughed. How could I miss that?

What else have you missed? Where have you either lacked focus or been so focused that you weren’t present or aware of what was really going on around you? It is very tough to be aware all the time. We do need a break on occasion. However, when it really matters, we must understand how to become more aware and be present in the moment.

What are some moments when you lack awareness? When your co-worker is explaining a major issue to you, but you need to get that big email out. When your child is getting your attention to talk about an issue or just wanting to play but you have so much on your mind. When you are just sitting in a crowded room of people. Are you aware of what is happening or are you just there? It is time to pay attention to what is really important in this world. And for me that is people.

When we become aware we begin to connect with others on a different level. We get to know things about them that benefit both of us. Imagine the impact on your business when the staff feel like you are fully engaged in them, their success and their well-being. How could that change the culture of your work environment?

Imagine how employees will respond to you when they feel that you value their contributions and the importance they place on balancing their work life with their family life. Can you improve the culture of your organization just by being more aware and present? Yes, but that is just the starting point.

Become aware, be present in the moment and don’t let someone else tell you that there is a dryer sheet hanging from your shirt.

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It’s Your Turn!

It's Your Turn!

Have you ever heard the following phrases:

If not now, then when?

If not you, then who?”

Sometimes we forget the power that we possess. This power is not in just a few of us, but it is in all of us. Marianne Williamson wrote one my favorite poems, Our Deepest Fear, in that poem she says “it is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us”.

Can you relate to that idea that many times we are more afraid of our potential than our current status? I know I can. I think about it all the time. I have ideas, believes passions for making big changes, but then I pull myself back wondering. Can I really make this happen? Am I smart enough, driven enough, qualified enough, to make the changes in this world that I think need to be made.

There is a reason why each of us come up with brilliant ideas. There is a reason why each of us feel passionate about our ideas. There is a reason why each of us feel the need to act on our ideas. And unfortunately, there is reason why the majority of us pull back and never act on making those ideas a reality.

I’m sure you have heard stories of everyday people that have done extraordinary things in their life time. People will ask them how they were able to be so brave, achieve so much or make such a difference. Many of them shrug it off and comment that they followed their gut, believed in themselves or just knew it was up to them to make it happen.

As you look around your world today and into the future. You will suddenly have a feeling or an idea that you feel must be acted upon. I’m asking you to trust your gut. Let you light shine through. Go out and make a difference in this world.

Ms. Williamson goes on to say; “We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”.

She is right, who are you not to be. You were given those talents, passions and drive so that you can make a difference. Now it is time to answer those 2 questions above. The answers to the questions are:

I start now and I will do it!

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