Putting "Why" into Customer Service

Putting "Why" into Customer Service

Customer service grabbed ahold of me at 15 years old. No, I wasn’t enthralled with serving popcorn at my local movie theater (although it had its perks). But I will never forget that summer of 2009 - two weeks of which I spent sweating in the isolated mountain community of Catadupa, Jamaica.

I arrived on a short term mission trip with my youth group in July; (most of us) experiencing together our first time out of the country. Not only were we being asked to spend the duration of our trip in 90 degree 100 percent humidity, we were being asked to build a water catchment system.

While struggling to adjust from a dry Colorado summer, I began to actually enjoy the physically exhausting work we were doing each day. Our group of highschoolers got to build alongside experienced Jamaicans, learning the in’s and out’s of cement mixing and heavy sandbag lifting. Although moving any muscle was difficult after a day of work, I felt surrounded by family after dark. Evenings would be spent laughing, eating, and dancing. We would spend time with the locals and learn about their culture. Each morning I would wake up refreshed, starting off with a devotional, prayer and time reflecting. If it hadn’t been for these special moments, I don’t know if I could have made it through those two weeks serving in the same way.

You may be thinking - what does this have to do with customer service? In my 6 years of experience, customer service is more to me than just assistance, advice and a simple transaction. To serve a customer is one of the greatest privileges of work, and the smiling town of Catadupa made me realize that. See, without this water catchment system, the people of Catadupa had to worry about catching drinking water on their own. That’s a very time consuming task.

Although customer service can be exhausting at it’s finest, having a “why” can bring you through the toughest days. What product or service are you providing that somebody may not be able to live without? What motivates you to serve your customers? Next time you roll into work, maybe you’ll be able to offer more than smile. Nothing beats your white hot “why”.

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