We have come far, I think in our observations of customer behaviour and it’s impact on humble service consultant and surrounds. But I came to the end of that particular road and so this is the end to my series of case studies. I know this is the most fitting of all ends.
There was a call to action from the floor manager above; a difficult customer. Our humble service consultant was requested, specifically and by name, as she seemed to have gained a reputation, shall we say, of having a certain uh knack with dealing with um difficulties.
And so, with the usual sigh of ‘here we go. Man up!’ She headed into battle with that plaster smile. Everything was all good, it read.
“It’s that man over there…” said the floor manager with a look that was meant to convey both, ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘you’re the only one who can deal with these people and not suffer mentally…well, on the outside at least’. Okay, fair enough was the meaning conveyed on our service consultant’s face as she followed the floor manager to her doom.
Yes, the man was rude, abrupt and unnecessarily mean. These things are unfortunately more common than not in most people so we must devise a blanket strategy to deal with all of them. This is unavoidable. We cannot cater each strategy to each individual case as that would be super human. But, on this particular day, our service consultant had a little more patience and was able to observe without speaking and therefore exacerbate the situation. There was something, just something, that called for help in ways it only could, he was in pain.
Her eyes were opened and she persisted in trying to help this man in buying the perfect phone on the best plan because it was the least she could do for a person who was doing the best he could to cope after losing his wife to cancer and the daunting prospect of raising his daughter alone. This is courage. This is a father doing his best in a load of shit, figuratively speaking. I listened and he gave me his story and shared his pain. He left with a phone for his daughter and minus some of the anger, that inevitably accompanies feeling abandoned, and perhaps a little bit more trust in the human race.
That was it. The game changer. I could not be more grateful to these people who have trusted me with their stories. If anything, it has taught me to never again assume someone is an arsehole purely because they have nothing better to be, most of the time.