December 1, 2014
Customer Service and the Pause
Yesterday afternoon I was happy to be receiving help at the computer store learning how to use a new app. I was willing to learn! However, the gentleman helping me was not as willing to instruct as I was to learn. Seemed as though I was just another in a long line of computer illiterates that he was put in the ugly position of having to help become more technology savvy. He came off as kind of a know-it-all wondering why I didn’t know-it-all. Of course I wouldn’t be there if I did know-it-all. I realized that two factors were probably happening here: 1) I was a bit uneasy about learning how to use this new app, and 2) He was simply not in the mood and mainly, distracted. His eyes were roaming all over the store as if he was following the flight of a bumblebee. I decided that the best way to help both of us, was to Pause, Step Back, Step Aside and Let Inspiration Guide.
I was practicing The 4 Decisions in my mind and as I did so a few things happened: 1) My uneasiness floated away; 2) He stopped talking so fast and literally began pausing as he spoke. It was as if his mind slowed down to receive what words to say that would be helpful instead of spouting something off that he had filed away in a mind slot about this particular app; 3) We made eye contact. Now we were present to one another and available to the moment. It was really cool to see this transformation in us both unfold in a matter of seconds.
Now, some may say it was all just my perception. I just needed to relax. That was definitely part of it. But what was demonstrated here is the power of the pause. Without getting into some hypothetical explanation of how this works, what worked was one person’s willingness to open to a more peaceful, helpful and effective way of communication. He became a better instructor for the next 45 minutes and I noticed I became more grateful for him. We began enjoying this time together instead of wishing it were over!
How many times in your day do you wish something were over? How much of my life have I wasted wishing something was over? How much energy have I wasted being upset with poor customer service when I could have played a pivotal role in turning the customer service experience around to be more helpful, or least found some inner peace amidst the “Customer Not-At-Your-Service” counter? What do I really want? Do I want to lower the bar of the human daily life experience or raise the bar?