Don’t Break the Chain

I have to admit that I’m a sucker for those Coca-Cola commercials where one person does something nice for someone else and it kicks off a chain reaction. As people start doing nice things for each other you can actually see the world become a better place.

I recently bought an inflatable raft so the kids and I could do a little fishing and hangout out on some absolutely beautiful Oregon lakes. Fishing results have been mixed but the fun has been consistent regardless. On a recent trip we were rowing out when another guy in a boat said, “Hey, I’m just about to leave. If you cast over here with worms you’ll do well.” I thanked him and we gladly took over his spot.

It didn’t take long before we had three fish and my kids were done sitting in one place waiting for more fish to bite. As we returned to shore, inevitably another fisherman asked, “Hey, how did you guys do out there?” I showed him our stringer of trout and told him the fish were really biting on worms. Realizing we were done fishing, I offered him the rest of my worms and he gratefully accepted.

I didn’t stick around to see if it helped him catch fish but I’d like to think that as he caught fish with the worms I gave him, he passed along advice and a worm or two to the next person. Now consider the fact that the guy who passed advice along to me didn’t stick around to see the fruit of his kindness — but there was fruit no less.

Serving customers is a lot like this. I’ve always felt bad when speaking with a customer whose day was ruined because of an issue they were experiencing or due to poor support they previously received. But I’ve held to the belief that if I can turn that customer around and resolve their issue, I possess the ability to make their day just a little (or a lot) better than it was when they called. And who says that the person that just received great service from me doesn’t go do something kind for the next person they come in contact with?

When we work with other people, we don’t always get to see the fruit of our labor, but it’s important that we hold firmly to the belief that our actions do make a difference. And perhaps on those busy days where it’s one issue after another, that helps give us to resilience to consistently give our very best to each customer. Let’s be the sort of customer service professionals that start chain reactions of service and kindness.

Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Experience at FCR, the premiere provider of outsourced call center and business process solutions. He has more than 17 years of experience as a customer service and experience professional. He is co-founder of the Customer Service Life blog and a regular contributor. Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *