During a gas station stop on the way back from Columbus, Ohio, I had a revelation. It’s amazing where revelations can occur, isn’t it? You may get big ideas while taking a shower or going for a run. My revelation wasn’t because of a big idea that came to me. It was more of an experience.
No, I didn’t have some huge, life-changing religious experience. Instead, I had a customer service experience. In fact, it was a communication experience. I now completely understand why my wife tells me some of the things she does about the way I react or how I say things.
While purchasing a drink for the remainder of my six-hour drive, all the customer service training I’ve ever had came back to hit me in the face. The cashier at the gas station said all the right words: hello, please, thank you. She was polite and didn’t say anything rude. That’s good, right? It could have been worse I guess.
It’s understandable to not be overly excited about being a cashier at a small town gas station and convenience store. However, customer service should still matter. She did not do several things that make a big difference to a customer. She did not smile. She did not look me in the eyes. She did not act thankful for my patronage. In essence, what she said did not matter. It was all about her actions, or even better, her inactions.
You’ve heard that 90% of communication is non-verbal. This was the ultimate example of that put into action.
Have you experienced this type of communication? You have not only experienced it, you’ve been guilty of it. We all have. You smiled and nodded when someone was talking to you. You’ve said, “Yes, Dear” without truly hearing what your wife said. You’ve rolled your eyes while talking on the phone to a client.
These are all examples of when we say the right things but do the wrong things. You can say whatever you want but if your actions say different, it does not matter what you say.
Will you take a pledge with me to change your actions? Will you commit to say what you mean but also make sure your actions represent the same meaning? If you do this with me, our relationships with family, clients, friends will all improve.