The customer (still) matters

Whoever said, “Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous” was probably right. At least that stands true for me.

I recently got in touch with an organization to explore ways to partner with them for the larger good. And I must say this, they get it! Two instances that reminded me how powerful gratitude is to help you stay grounded and be appreciative of the small things that we often ignore.

Customer service is definitely an ignored aspect. It shines on paper and training materials but fades away when it comes to the actual practice.

So, I’d been exchanging emails with a program coordinator of this organization to understand the intricacies and processes I need to go through to get associated. That part was flawlessly dealt with. Post first step, however, we faced a hurdle. There was a mix-up, something didn’t go right as per the process. I reported to the coordinated and got this message:

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This person apologized! And “owned” up for something that (honestly) wasn’t even a great deal! I just inquired about it. Didn’t really escalate it!

Nonetheless, I’ve never (or rather expected) heard the words “it was my fault” from a professional who doesn’t really know me. I was dumbfounded and deeply humbled myself.

Last evening, I hopped into a webinar (we just had audio). There might have been at least half a dozen people (or probably more). And I’d logged in about 25 minutes late, right in the middle of a conversation between the host and another member.

Here’s where it gets interesting — the host actually stopped midway and said, “Sunil, Good evening! Thanks for joining us!” I was stunned! And in shock mumbled something in lines of, “thank you!” Having attended an n number of webinars in my lifetime… this was new to me. Nobody stops their webinar to greet a guest!

After the call, I was in a trance. Trying to figure out what the hell happened. I realized how much we actually crave to be acknowledged. Don’t we? Think of the times you’ve spent waiting just to speak to a customer service agent only to be greeted by a half-hearted, robotic “hello, how can I help?”

I think the customer (still) matters. And it doesn’t take much to own your messes up or stopping by to say “hello” or simply mean it when you ask “how can I help?” That is what I truly call “leading to serve.”

But it sure does make a heck of an impression.

As for me, I’m sold on this organization’s culture. Something both you and I would like to incorporate into the organizations that we champion.

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