Scattered Brilliance

From my brain to paper (or pixels as the case may be)

Good customer service is a reciprocal relationship.

Dealing with medicine, doctors, pharmacists, insurance, etc is never easy; especially when there are real uncertain health risks at stake. My wife is taking a round of medicine that isn’t your average antibiotic to help with some current, and scary, goings on. As if that weren’t enough, I went to the local Walgreens today and there appeared to be an insurance issue preventing a refill of the meds that she is prescribed to take twice a day.

To make a long story short, amidst a bunch of chaos and confusion, Kristine at Walgreens rose to the moment and walked me through the issue calmly and was really looking to help find a solution that wouldn’t leave my wife without those meds first thing in the morning.

What I realized was that her as she was dealing with three different “me’s” (customers with issues) at the same time, if any of us got frustrated with things that were in fact out of her control, her ability to help any of us would be tremendously compromised by the rush of adrenaline that would boil with the confrontation that may ensue.

What I came to understand very clearly in that moment was that customer service isn’t just something that as customers we can blindly expect. We have to enter into the relationship with the right mindset as well, understanding the other person’s limitations and sphere of influence and respecting their wont and desire to help us in our time of need.

When we do that, we are more likely to receive the level of customer service that we feel like we are entitled to.

I think back to a recent flight from Las Vegas to Manchester, NH coming home from CES and an extremely disgruntled passenger who berated the flight staff at every turn for slights that were half in his mind. Did his attitude give him the right to good service from the Southwest flight crew? To their credit, they handled it as you would hope and took the high road. But you have to wonder, did the service level to the entire flight of passengers suffer because of the lack of consideration of one of our fellow customers to those serving us? I would venture to say that likely, it did.

So, the lesson for me; treat the service representative on the other side of the transaction with the respect, patience, and dignity that I expect back. In the end, that will be more beneficial not only to me, but to the rest of the customers that representative deals with that day.



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