Taking Chances in Customer Service and Beyond

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One happy & safe pup on the way to the animal shelter.

In the car on the way to the veterinarian’s office with my dog, Miso,  we encountered a busy intersection. After we made it through this area, with traffic flying down the road, I noticed a few cars swerving to the right.

A golden lab was walking in the middle of the street.

I had a few seconds to make a decision:

  1. Do I pull over to the curb in this busy street to help?
  2. Do I keep on driving and hope for the best?

I threw on my hazard lights and pulled over to the side of the road. When there was a gap in traffic, I opened my door and called to the dog.

She looked at me while standing in the center of the road, tongue out and tail wagging. I had no clue if she was aggressive or sick–I just knew she was a lost dog, confused, caked with mud standing in the middle of a busy street.

I took a chance.

The dog eventually came over to me. Traffic slowed and people were driving slowly, looking at me holding a dog by the collar while walking to the side of the road. One man stopped and said that there was a shelter nearby then kept on driving. Another woman rolled down her window, stopped and said, “Awww” then kept on driving.

With Miso in the car, I was hesitant on putting this dog, while seemingly friendly, in my car.

I took a chance.

I grabbed Miso’s leash and hooked it to the dog’s collar with a tight grip. I then opened the driver side door (Miso was in the passenger seat, belted in) and allowed the dog to climb into the back seat. She hopped in with no fear.

Miso stuck his head back to see who was in the car and the dog put her nose on Miso’s head. She kissed him and nuzzled her face in his, tails wagging, then returned to the back seat of the car.

We then zipped off to the animal shelter, windows down. She had her head directly behind the head rest of my seat the whole time.

We arrive at the shelter, get her checked in and taken to the back. I’m in no position to take another dog and I really do hope that she finds her home.

But ultimately, the reason for this post was because of the risk involved with this. I had no clue what to expect with this–it could have been really horrible. There could have been a brawl in my car between two dogs. The dog could have attacked me. It could have been sick or flea ridden.

In customer service and life in general, we’re all faced with risks. We don’t know what the outcome will be and sometimes, it’s easier to just put the pedal to the metal and speed past these opportunities. But, sometimes things that seem like they might not be a good idea are the best ideas in the whole world. 

Ask yourself:

  • When was the last time you took a chance for a customer, family member, friend or even a dog on the side of the road? When did you go above and beyond for someone? What was that like?
  • When was the last time you made a risky decision? What was the outcome?
  • How do you fight off the “policy” or “limitations” in our minds that cause us to not take these risks? If you’ve defined your vision being one focusing on X, why not do all you can to take X to the next level, even if it means diving head first into the unexpected?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this!





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  • Great post, Jenny! I don’t know what this has to do with customer service but this is an area I need to grow. Just kidding, I totally get how this applies to customer service and life!

  • Calculated risk….once you get good at knowing 99.9% of the potential problems, a new one is thrown at you. Experience, quick thinking and a can-do attitude is exactly what you need in life. Regardless of personal issues (like your great doggie story) or professional issues (a problem client with a unique issue) the proper mindset will get you through. Great post…looking forward to seeing/hearing much more from you about the doggie outcome. xo

    • I’m a bit late replying here but thank you for your comments, Doug! You’re right–it IS about the proper mindset. So important and not so always easy to do!

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