My shipment was missing. In it were all the prizes I needed for an upcoming event.
I ordered them in plenty of time. I was relieved when I received the email that they had shipped.
I didn’t think about it again until I was getting ready for the event.
I retrieved that email. No tracking number was supplied. I called customer service.
Jamie was pleasant and clearly wanted to help. He said apparently the package had never left the warehouse (despite my email that pointed to the contrary). He put me on hold and returned from time to time to tell me he was still checking.
Eventually he came back and said they would reship the items, but because the shipment was over $500, he couldn’t do it until an internal investigation was conducted to determine what happened.
That may take ten days. My event was in five.
Next up, a conversation with his manager. Veronica, too, was very pleasant. She finally agreed to reship the product, at their expense, overnight.
I said I needed it shipped on Monday in order for it to arrive on Tuesday, in time for my event on Wednesday. She couldn’t guarantee me it would ship on Monday but kept repeating that it would ship at their expense.
This whole process took over an hour. Most of it on hold. This was the only solution she offered. I was polite but very unhappy. She knew it.
Before we hung up, she had the audacity (or stupidity) to ask me if I would like to stay on the line to complete a short survey. I almost laughed.
You’re kidding me, right?
No ma’am, it’s up to you.
I told her I really liked her company, that this whole incident could be filed under stuff happens, but since she wasn’t willing to guarantee the timing of my new shipment and therefore fix their mistake, and I would have to make other arrangements for my event, I assured her, if I took that survey, I would have nothing nice to say about the company right now.
Ok, well it’s up to you.
I said thank you and hung up.
Her goal was to check the box.
The box that instructed her to ask all customers to complete the survey. Clearly her big corporate boss required her to follow the script and check all boxes to ensure she fulfilled their protocol.
She wasn’t paid to think, or connect with her customers, she was paid to check the box.
Going through the motions. Showing up without really being present. Doing something just to get it done. These are all the same as checking the box.
It’s less than our best. It’s less than what we’re capable of. And it’s always a choice. We can do what we know is right, or we can check the box and move it off our TO DO list.
Bottom line: When checking the box is your primary concern, you lose focus of the human being at the other end of that transaction and caring becomes a luxury.
Even when your hands are tied you can create a connection by going off script and showing some empathy. The end result may be the same, but there’s a chance both sides will feel a little better about the process.
When was the last time you just “checked the box?” Was it intentional or is it only now, in hindsight, you can see that’s what happened?
C’mon, fess up! We’re all friends here. (Tell us below!)