Heart of the Relationship


You call the company, and the first question you hear is, “How may I help you?”.

When we ask that question of others, do we really listen?

Customer service is about listening, and building a real relationship. That is what is really boils down to. Relationship.

When searching for “How to give better customer service”, we find there are over 308 million search results. Everyone has the “10 tips to” or “7 ways to” answers.

When it comes to service, this is how I run my business:

  • Make a difference in every persons life that I come in contact with. It does not matter if it is the first time I have a conversation, or I am in the middle of contracting with them. Be there to help.
  • Continue making a difference. Be of service. Share those positive stories with others. Even if they said no the first time around.

Let me share a true story, something that happened to me when personal computers were first coming on market. I worked for a company that sold IBM PC’s and peripherals. One morning, January 1st we received a call that a 10 Mb hard drive had crashed, and it was critical to get it replaced. No suppliers were open that day. I called Western Digital directly, on an off chance someone would answer. No such luck. Tried again before lunch time. Again, three more times. Finally, around 4:30pm, after letting the phone ring and ring and ring, someone picked up. “Hello?” I told the person on the other end of the phone who I was, and what our situation was. Back in those days, hard drives were stamped with the number of bad sectors on them. I asked if it was possible to get a “clean” drive, as our client needed to be up and running the next day. He asked me to hold. I waited. A few minutes later, he came back on the line. “Yes”, he told me, “I went down to the shipping line, and found one”. I asked how we could figure out how to get this to the client the following day, considering the 1st was a holiday, and shippers were closed. His answer – he had stopped in to the building to pick up something on the way to a new years eve party. He and his wife were all dressed up. But, if we could give him the customers address, he would personally pack it up, and take it to the airport and have it sent via air-freight over night. True to his word, he did, and the client received their hard drive.

Who was this person? The president of Western Digital.

A few days later, he called me. Wanted to make sure everything was good with everyone. From there, we kept in touch.

He built a relationship through customer service.

THAT is the heart of the relationship.

It is not about grabbing every dollar. It is all about making sure people have the tools and information to make their job easier.

When is the last time you asked someone who you only met once, “How can I help”, and mean it from the bottom of your heart?

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