Roll with the Punches

August 06, 2018

In my head, I see Customer Service jobs like a boxer fighting in the ring. You know you’re going to get punched, it’s how you respond to the punch that matters. As Rocky Balboa puts it:

It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward

You’re there for when the inevitable happens. The next time there’s an unpredictable situation in the queue, remember, the only thing that matters is how you respond. On the micro conversion-to-conversation level, it’s easy to lose that focus.

I thought about this after two recent polar opposite experiences at coffee shops.

In one instance, a person in line couldn’t produce a way to pay for their coffee. They tried card after card while the employee looked at them with a blank expression. The payment attempts went on for what felt like 30 minutes. In the end, the person behind them said “I got it” and let the person go on their way.

A few days later, I was in the same situation. My card was the one declined. The person behind the counter didn’t bat an eye. As I looked through my wallet, they said “Don’t worry about it” and went ahead making my coffee.

When the line stopped moving, there’s a ripple effect making 5+ other people have a bad experience. I’m not advocating handing out free coffee to everyone. But it’s always good to reflect during a tricky situation to see if there’s an easy way to move forward.

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