humble

Know the Customer’s Value Proposition - 2/12/19


I’ve written about how it’s important to build up your co-workers when talking to customers. When the nurse is getting ready to send the patient down to radiology, she lets the patient know what great work and great care that the radiology tech provides. When the teller contacts a Read more

Paint a Picture, Take a Picture - 2/5/19


Many of us are visual learners. In order for us to understand the concept, we need to be able to see the concept illustrated. And by seeing the concept illustrated, I’m not just talking about taking something that somebody says and merely typing it into an email. I don’t Read more

Recipe for Reputation Rehab - 1/29/19


As another corporation is trying to recover from self-inflicted reputation wounds, it is seeking to get back in the good graces of consumers. It’s laying out a 6-point plan to improve its performance, but – in the end – publicizing this plan is also about rehabilitating its reputation. Read more

Don’t Dwell on the Customer Crazies - 1/22/19


Whether or not you’re a fan of Duke University basketball, you may have heard of the “Cameron Crazies.” This is a nickname for Duke fans that attend home games in Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium. One of my friends was one of those Cameron Crazies. He was Read more

Retain through Responsiveness - 1/15/19


In a recent Bloomberg article about online retailers, there’s a story about a women’s cosmetics customer who used an online app to order some items. She waited weeks for the delivery after it was shipped to the wrong address, and she had great difficulty in getting the issue resolved. Read more

Bring Something Extra to the Table - 1/8/19


As somebody who has customer service as a part of their role and responsibilities, you are often talking to customers who could access the answers to their questions or the solutions to their problems via a website or some social media resource. But instead of going to those communication Read more

How to Have a Truly HAPPY New Year - 1/1/19


Don’t worry. After today, I will get away from my holiday-themed tips, but for now, let me ask you a question. What would be a good way to have a truly HAPPY New Year? Is it lowering expectations so that everything exceeds your expectations? Is Read more

2018 Holiday Poem - 12/25/18


Annually I write a note at this time of year, And the goal not once but every time is to bring you some cheer. I try to encourage, And I work to state the truth Because as we continue to grow more “wise,” We can’t lose sight of the joys of youth. So this year Read more

Be SomeBODY to Your Customer - 12/18/18


Jenny lives on a farm, and she's often running errands to get things for the animals or the family. She goes to one particular store to get her hay, and she always chit-chats with the person at the register. Marie is always friendly and cordial, and Jenny always buys Read more

A Representative Success! - 12/11/18


I was in a meeting recently with a client, and it was interesting to chat with one of their best customer service representatives. This is an employee who works with the same business clients every month, and when she described what she does, best practices started flowing. She knows her 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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