The blinders are off
Sarah Stealey Reed
November 29, 2015
Everyday life brings unexpected opportunities. From the people we meet, to the services we experience, we are affected by the moments around us. But it’s the little things that we often take for granted, that when noticed, can make the biggest impact.
These are not the big contrived 'wow' moments forced upon us; these are the little moments that happen genuinely and resonate authentically. They are reminders for us to be in the moment.
Setting the tone: Have you noticed how one little interaction can change the course of your day? On a recent early morning trip to San Francisco, the TSA agent pleasantly surprised me. As she handed back my boarding pass and military ID, she grabbed my hand and said, "Thank you for being a military wife." My day was made.
A smack upside the head: It's seven a.m., and I'm walking back to my hotel from the gym. Coffee is in hand, music is on, and my pace is brisk. On the corner is a homeless man and he shouts out to me as I pass. Uncharacteristically I pull out my earbuds and stop. "You people," he barks. "You people with your headphones in have your blinders on. Pay attention!" Yes, sir.
Daily aspirations: Good words can come from anywhere. Mine come daily from inside my Aloha vitamin pack. ‘Create your own reality’ instructed today's miniature card. Create my own reality, indeed. Although I'm militant about taking good care of myself, I remember this goodness more for the daily guidance than I do for my health.
Customer service knows no bounds: I am a Being Mary Jane binge addict. It’s smart, witty, and nasty when it needs to be television. In a recent episode the lead character responded to, "It was the right thing to do," with a quip that made all contact center leaders cringe. "It's like when you are on the phone with a customer service rep, and you're trying to get a straight answer, and they just keep talking nonsense. And then finally they just say, 'Ma'am, I'm sorry it's company policy.'" Damn.
A simple thank you: It’s not uncommon to send loved ones a thank you note, but what about a customer you may never see again? During a connection through BWI, I stopped into the Tumi store to touch the bag I'd been coveting. About a week later, the lovely salesperson sent me a hand-written thank you note. She has no idea that I connect through that airport on a regular basis. Good on you, Lisa. I will return.
Great things happen when we act more intentionally and better notice the extraordinary service moments around us. What's your favorite in the moment experience?
Sarah Stealey Reed is the editor of Relate. When she's not wandering the world, she's a loud writer of customer experiences, contact centers, and optimistic relationships. Find her on Twitter at @stealeyreed.