Challenge: Shock Others With Kindness


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Each time I call a customer service number, or interact with someone in “customer service”, I aim to be kind, sincere and patient. I believe that you can really make a difference in someone’s day just by showing that you care and taking the time to ask questions, or give compliments. I also think about the person on the other end of the interaction and about how many assholes he or she probably has to deal with throughout the day. Most of us are in “customer service” in one way or another, and we are trying to help others, or give them what they want. You might know just what it’s like to be yelled at or belittled by a someone you don’t even know.

Could you improve how you interact with strangers on the other end of a call? Could you slow down, take a minute, and be more kind to waiters, hotel agents, gas station attendants, bankers, cashiers, and other customer service providers?

Your challenge:

  • In the next couple of days, aim to shock a customer service agent with your kindness

Example of what I do each time I interact with someone in customer service:

  • The person I’m calling or approaching says something like, “Hello, thank you for calling Verizon Wireless (insert any other organization here), how may I assist you?”

The first words out of my mouth are “Hi there, how are YOU doing today?”

Then there is normally a pause or the agent stumbles a bit while responding (because I think it’s very uncommon for someone to ask that) before getting back to why I’m calling. I then try to be as kind as possible, and finish the call with something like, “thank you so much for your time, and for helping me out…take care of yourself and have a great day.”

Simply asking people how they are doing can make a huge difference in the overall mood of the rest of your conversation. Instead of having the posture of “this person just needs to hurry up and give me what I need, or I’m gonna freak out on them,” you can challenge yourself to be a bit more like “I want to be a pleasant reminder to this person that there is GOOD in the world by showing appreciation and aiming to brighten his or her day.”

I think that when we are patient, loving, genuine, cheerful, and intentional, we feel better. When we feel better (more relaxed and positive), we can also perform better and enjoy life more. So, if you need a “reason” to be kind, now you have one ;).

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