The most vulnerable I’ve ever been with a customer, ever

In my role as Social Media & Customer Experience Manager at NumberBarn, I sometimes find myself on front line support tickets. I love having an opportunity to get down to my roots and connect with customers.

One particular afternoon, I came across an email that had gone back and forth between a couple different agents and the customer several times. More times than I’d like to see, but reading through it, I noticed there was a lot of confusion for the customer, Brandon Thompson. They had asked for a direct number, but we do not offer phone support. I picked up on the customer’s frustration and anger in the email and decided to call.

I left a voicemail, along with my direct number, and followed up with another email to make sure he knew I called.

I received a call back shortly after and after one conversation, we were talking like old friends.

I continued to communicate with Brandon via text and phone to help. One particular Friday, I didn’t reply to his message.

My day began as normal, but the stress from the current global pandemic, topped with other personal matters, hit me hard. My mind wasn’t able to juggle the multitude of customer requests, so I set boundaries to protect my mental health.

The following Monday, I followed up with a very non-professional yet authentic reply. I was shocked at Brandon’s response:

I shared how I speak at conferences and am an advocate for self-care and mental health for customer service agents and leaders. He said he had never heard of anything like that before!

The more we talked about what that actually means, the more he shared how he’s been mean to customer service agents over the years, never actually considering the human on the other side.

So,  he asked me to be on his podcast, A Place for My Head.

We recorded the episode and got into some very deep topics. I shared more than I have in the past, more than I ever have with a customer, from battling an eating disorder, to suicidal thoughts, to depression and anxiety. I laid it all out on the table with Brandon, and his co-host, Jerry Petuck.

I love what Brandon and Jerry are doing to simply have conversations with people from all walks of life about mental health struggles that we might not normally discuss outloud due to stigma and shame.

Click on the image below to tune into the podcast episode:



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Jenny Dempsey is the Consumer Experience Manager for and Apeel Sciences. With 16 years of building and leading customer service & experience teams, she is also the co-founder of a customer service blog, Jenny has been recognized over the years for her work, including the The ICMI Top 25 Thought Leaders of 2021and accepting the 2019/2020 CloudCherry CX Influencer Champion award. She has a Udemy Professor with her course, "Your Customer Service Toolbox: Best Practices for Beginners" and does customer service coaching on the side. Jenny loves being an auntie to her beautiful niece, travelling the world, singing and hanging out with her toothless rescue cats. She lives in sunny San Diego, CA.

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