humble

The Passive Predicament - 4/13/21


The employee is speaking to you.  Do they have that look in the eyes like they’re hanging on your every word, like they’re processing, interpreting, and getting ready to quickly respond to your key points and questions?  Or do they have the look of somebody in the 2nd hour Read more

Regain Lost Motivation - 4/6/21


For many of us over the last 12 months, our home has also become our workplace.  Our work interaction has been 2-dimensional through the computer screen as opposed to the 3-dimensional experiences we’re used to with co-workers and customers. We are all motivated in our own unique ways.  Some are Read more

The Answer is Right, but the Service is Wrong - 3/30/21


Maggie was irate.  The gift she ordered needed to be received by the 20th of the month so she could give it to her cousin for his birthday.  It was the 19th, and Maggie couldn’t find any shipping update online, so she called the company.  The employee said “Oh!  Read more

Question Everything, but What’s the Question? - 3/23/21


The new leader joins the organization, and she decides she wants to question everything.  She wants employees to question everything.  Why have we always done it this way? Why do we continue to do it that way? Is this the best way to work? Sometimes it’s a great management Read more

The Resourceful Rep - 3/16/21


One of our clients is seeking to develop Customer Service Standards.  We’re working with them to identify those key expectations of staff that will enable the organization to deliver a consistent high-level customer experience.  One of the key attributes that this organization is seeking from its team members is Read more

Be Proactive like a Pro - 3/9/21


We constantly work with clients, encouraging them to become more proactive with customers.  Don’t just be reactive, waiting for the customer to ask questions or to complain.  Instead, go to the customer, anticipate their needs, suggest something to them. But many of us, frankly, don’t know how to be proactive.  Read more

Find One Unique Thing - 3/2/21


Many of us are not in a position to develop long-term relationships with our customers.  Our encounters are often one-time only with a customer - very brief and likely to be our only time chatting with this individual. And even though there may not be a long-term professional relationship developed, Read more

Should I Stay or Should I Go? - 2/23/21


Should I stay or should I go?  That’s not just a classic song by The Clash.  It’s also the question customers ask more and more, especially during difficult economic times. A recent study in the Charlotte Business Journal noted that 50% of North Carolina businesses are concerned with how to Read more

Optimism – A Force for Good in Customer Service - 2/16/21


Will 2021 be a better year than 2020?  I have absolutely no idea.  Maybe it would be nice to see into the future and know for certain, but I can’t and I don’t.  But as I wade further and further into this year, I can hope that the water Read more

To Assure, Ensure You Do This - 2/9/21


Vince Lombardi – famous professional football coach – became a big hit on the speaker’s circuit during his time coaching.  He applied many of his principles in football and life to business, and one of his great business quotes is:  Confidence is contagious and so is lack of confidence, Read more

A Lesson in Humility – 10/27/15 TOW

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week Please leave a comment


Sarah was very excited about her new reading partner. Miss Jenny had never volunteered at this elementary school before, so she wasn’t certain what to expect when she showed up for her first day with her new reading buddy. When she met Sarah, Miss Jenny smiled, and Sarah’s eyes lit up.

They went to the school library together and read and talked, then read and talked some more. Then week after week throughout the school year, they met again – and read and talked again.

At the end of the school year on their last day together, Sarah gave Miss Jenny a hug and said “thank you for reading to me.” Miss Jenny thanked Sarah and talked about how much she enjoyed the time they had together.

As Miss Jenny walked away, Sarah’s teacher asked Sarah if she knew what her readying buddy does. “Yes,” replied Sarah, “she reads with me.” The teacher said, “Oh, I meant, do you know what she does for her job?”

“No,” Sarah replied.

“Well she’s a very successful business owner here in town,” said the teacher.

“Okay,” Sarah said, and then Sarah walked back to her desk – apparently impressed with Miss Jenny, but not impressed with her job. What was clear is that Sarah didn’t care about Miss Jenny’s job – she just appreciated her reading buddy. What’s also clear is that Miss Jenny never bragged about her job or her professional accomplishments – all of the time and discussions with Sarah were about…Sarah.

Why am I bringing up a community service story to discuss customer service? Because greatness in community service has a thread of humility in it. The community service is for those being served, not about those serving.

Similarly, great customer service isn’t about the service provider. In that moment of truth with the customer, it’s about the customer. It’s about addressing their need, their emotions, their issues, and their goals. It’s not about our ego or our experience or our superior knowledge of policies, procedures, rules, and regulations.

Although it would be great if the customer stroked our ego, that’s not their responsibility. That’s more our own responsibility and that of our employer.

When engaged with the customer, when serving others, we need to bring humility to the encounter.

In customer service, let us help others with a humble heart.

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