As we go through life, we inevitably talk with a lot of people and hear snippets of their life stories. When you work in customer service, you hear these stories as a part of your job, but also tend to be “one of those people that people just start telling their life stories to while waiting in line somewhere”. Sometimes, those uninvited stories can lead you to find new opportunities for acts of kindness.
One day, Melinda was taking her lunch break from her job in customer service at a major department store. While dining in a cafe, she struck up a conversation with two ladies sitting next to her. The daughter, who was in her mid-20’s, started to tell Melinda the story of her chronic illness and how it had left her housebound at her parents’ for most of the last four years. But that day was a “good day”; she was well enough to go out to enjoy lunch and perhaps do a little shopping with her mother.
Melinda soon finished her lunch, wished the ladies well on their day of fun, and returned to her store. While back at work later that afternoon, Melinda recognized the ladies from the cafe, browsing the store. She remembered how the daughter had seemed chilly and had frequently adjusted her collar to cover an IV port on her chest and decided to add a little magic to her day. She quickly pulled a sweater that she thought would look beautiful on the daughter, enclosed a little note wishing her well, and gave it to her as a gift to make her “good day” that much better.
The mother and daughter were floored by this kindness; they had become so accustomed to “being in the house, unseen and feeling forgotten by the rest of the world” that it moved them to tears. Melinda had set out to merely brighten their day, but instead gave them the gift of feeling valued and included.
How many opportunities do we have in customer service to hear stories like this and rise to the challenge to make our customers feel truly special? The more we focus on finding these opportunities, the better we will become at capitalizing on these “invitations” to build meaningful relationships with our customers.
If you have a story about a case that touched your heart and allowed you to provide service in an unexpected way, we would love to hear about it.