Dear Customer, I’m Your Huckleberry!

MSDTOMB EC004If there’s a better film in all of cinema than Tombstone, I implore you to find it.  I’m sure my wife would actually beg to differ with me.  That being said, it was a privilege to collect a series of quotes from the movie in collaboration with my good friend, Al Hopper.  In the following post we share some of our favorite quotes from the movie and tie them to customer service.

Doc Holliday: I’m your huckleberry.

AL: Probably one of my all-time favorite lines, and one I use often. Doc Holliday was confident in his ability to resolve any conflict his way. He never backed down from a challenge. I apply this approach to my work in customer service and life in general. There isn’t a challenge from a customer that I will not take on. I know that if I can’t handle it, the team around me is.

JER: I have to agree with Al 100% on this one! This is the signature line of the movie. What a great attitude as customer service professionals to listen to a customer share their problem and respond with “I’m your huckleberry.”  Ok, maybe don’t say that verbatim but definitely use that take ownership, buck stops here approach.

Billy Clanton: Why, it’s the drunk piano player. You’re so drunk, you can’t hit nothin’. In fact, you’re probably seeing double.

Doc Holliday: I have two guns, one for each of ya.

AL: This is all about being able to adapt to a problem. Doc was extremely drunk. Instead of letting that be a block to accomplishing his goal, he got creative. Customer service is sometimes about creative thinking and understanding what the underlying issue is as much as it is about having a solution.

JER: There’s a great line from Virgil, Wyatt’s older brother at the end of the movie where he says, “I still got one good arm to hold you with.”  Adaptability is truly the name of the game in customer service.  Also, for the record, it’s not ok to see double in customer service.  Bring your “A” game every day.

Johnny Ringo: I want your blood. And I want your souls. And I want them both right now!

AL: If you have been in customer service long enough you will have heard a customer say something eerily similar. These customers have been wronged in some way and demand retribution from anyone they speak to at the company responsible for the issue. These are the most challenging calls and require the thickest skin and levels of patience.

JER: There are two types of customers.  Those that want retribution when something goes wrong and those who want nothing other than assurance that the issue will never happy again.  The latter is so refreshing, but we must be adept at handling both types of customers.

Wyatt Earp: I want you to know it’s over.

Curly Bill Brocius: Well. Bye.

JER: In the midst of this funeral processional, Wyatt says he’s done with the fight.  In the most insulting way possible, all Curly Bill can say is “Bye.”  How often do we respond to customers we disagree with in this manner?  Perhaps there was animosity on the call and we got offended.  It takes a true customer service professional to not be offended by the customer and stay professional to the very end of each call.

AL: You said it all, Jeremy. Customer service agents have to either be born with a thick skin, or taught how to grow one. I can see this conversation happening. The customer is at their wit’s end trying to get the agent to understand them. The agent, for whatever reason, decides they’ve had enough too. So they do both your company and the client a disservice and just say, “Well. Bye.”

Mr. Fabian: My dear, you’ve set your gaze upon the quintessential frontier type. Note the lean silhouette… eyes closed by the sun, though sharp as a hawk. He’s got the look of both predator and prey.

AL: There are certain traits that most successful customer service agents and leaders have in place. Some are easier to see than others, such as high levels of empathy and problem solving skills. Hiring managers often look for these traits when adding strong candidates to their teams.

JER: I’m not sure the person in this description would fit in our call center.  We’re looking for people who are fun and easily make connections with customers.  If they are anything like me, they are not terribly cool and are ok with that.  I guess if they are like this underneath a goofy exterior, that could work.

Wyatt Earp: You could have been busted up back there, or killed.

Josephine Marcus: Fun, though, wasn’t it?

Wyatt Earp: You’d die for fun?

Josephine Marcus: Wouldn’t you?

AL: Josephine’s attitude here is not only remarkably positive, but also contagious. As a team leader, these agents are the ones you want to hire. Having a positive attitude makes the work day go by faster and you customers can hear your smile when speaking with you.

JER: Customer service is truly a difficult profession because people are difficult.  You only get to live once.  If customer service is your chosen career, find a way every day to enjoy doing it!

Doc Holliday: And so she walked out of our lives forever.

AL: Sometimes, you just have to say goodbye to a client. Happiness is the ultimate goal, and though it’s not easy there are times when it is healthier to send them on their way to find happiness elsewhere and save your employees from excessive abuse.

JER: I totally agree, Al!  The beautiful thing about this line is that Wyatt gets another shot with Josephine later in the movie and they really do live happily ever after.  If you must say goodbye to a customer, do so with dignity and respect.  They may very well return when they realize how much better you are than the competition.  Be there to welcome them back with open arms.

Wyatt Earp: You tell ‘em I’m comin’. And hell’s comin’ with me.  Hell’s comin’ with me you hear?

JER: Last but not least, we can’t leave this line out.  I’m not sure where it fits in the world of customer service but I get goose bumps every time I hear it.  A line best said to the problems we face but NEVER, EVER said to a customer!

AL: This totally fits the wonderful world of social media customer service! We mentioned it before, sometimes, a customer has fury in eyes because something went wrong. Maybe they weren’t able to get satisfaction in a one-to-one call and feel they can get ‘better’ results if they shout from the rooftops on social media. Doesn’t always work, but most of us have tried it.

For more fantastic customer service movie posts, be sure check out Al’s blog. Are you a fan of Tombstone?  Share some of your favorite quotes and scenes from the movie.


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