A few weeks ago, I mentioned a rude customer service agent that my mother and I encountered while en-route to a funeral. Her actions had my mother on the verge of tears – not solely because of her attitude, but because the rude treatment she was dishing out was coming on the heels of some very bad news. Did the customer service agent know this? No. Should she have been sensitive to the possibility of our reason for travel? Yes.
As someone working in customer service, she should have known that travel can be stressful. Especially delayed travel. To the Midwest in the middle of winter. With a small child. Sometimes people travel for vacation, sometimes for business, and sometimes for family occasions – not all of them happy. Whatever the reason, we had chosen to spend our money with her company, and as a representative of that company, she should have made an effort to ensure a positive experience for her customers.
The lesson here? You don’t know what is going on with every customer you encounter. It would be ridiculous to expect that of anyone, however, you can do everything in your power to make each and every customer you deal with’s day a bit brighter after dealing with you. Assume every customer you deal with has something difficult that they’re dealing with that may affect the way they view their encounter with you. How? The answer is surprisingly simple. Be nice. Be empathetic. Have a bit of compassion for what they may or may not be going through. Even if someone is having a great day, you can make it even better by simply being kind. You’ll be surprised, it may turn your own bad day around too.