humble

Don’t Assume because... - 8/13/19


You've probably heard this statement growing up. Your parents said, “Don’t assume, because it makes…you look bad.” Or something like that… Recently my laptop screen died, and since it was an older laptop, I decided to go ahead and buy a new one instead of paying to have the screen Read more

Patience Leads to Positivity - 8/6/19


Thank you for your patience. That’s a statement I enjoy saying…when I am the customer. When I’m trying to learn something and I’m about to go into a process, I want to have a feel for what the whole process involves. Over the years, I’ve gotten tired of feeling like Read more

Back to Reality...for Customer Expectations - 7/30/19


Have you ever walked into a patient registration area of a hospital and seen a sign that said “if you’ve been waiting longer than 15 minutes, please see the receptionist?” Have you ever called a customer service number and been told by a recording that “the average hold time is Read more

For Excellence to Happen, Get Engaged - 7/23/19


The customer was throwing an absolute fit in the lobby. Sitting among several other customers waiting for her number to be called, she was raising her voice and letting out the occasional expletive about the lengthy wait time. An employee sitting behind the counter thought to herself: I’m going Read more

Libby Listened to Serve - 7/16/19


Libby was new to her role with the organization. She had never been a customer service representative in a call center before, but she was hired because of her attitude. She wanted to learn, enjoyed working with people, and could carry on a conversation with a wall. After going through Read more

Chris Got Noticed for All the Right Reasons - 7/9/19


Chris was working through a temporary agency, and he got a job at a warehouse. He was packaging items to be shipped out, and his shift didn't start until 7:30 a.m. Chris always got there a little bit early because of the bus schedule, and he hated just sitting Read more

What Does “No News” Mean? Here’s a Quick Story - 7/2/19


Steven was trying to make the purchase of his new used car official, so he could get license tags for his State. In order for the State to allow him to put the vehicle in his name, he had to submit paperwork to prove that the prior owner (from Read more

Are you the Output or the Input? - 6/25/19


You’re the output and the input. Sorry to put it into such technical/industrial engineering terminology. But in a service system, we all have some role as a part of the process. First, we receive the output. Somebody has a customer that they direct to us, so that handoff is from Read more

Hear Them, and Tell Them What You Heard - 6/18/19


CSS has conducted close to 1000 research projects over the years, many of which were web-based surveys. And oftentimes, in addition to or instead of completing the online survey, respondents e-mail us directly with questions or comments – and we respond personally to every message on behalf of our Read more

It’s Decision Time. What are you going to do? - 6/11/19


Serving others is tough. Whether it’s dealing with an irate customer, having to field the same question from the 100th different customer this month, or keeping 10 plates spinning while still smiling in front of the client, it’s hard. You want to do a great job, and you’re constantly put 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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