I placed a call to a healthcare company today. As is often the case, I was assisted by a call center employee. A couple of minutes into our call I heard a baby crying and the customer service rep said she’d look into my question and I could tell she muted me. Less than a minute later she came back and let me know she’d have to take another action. I heard the baby again and she muted me again. When she came back I told her she doesn’t have to mute herself! I told her that I know she’s working at home, many of us are, and that’s certainly not an issue for me. She then admitted that she’s new to the organization and a customer had complained about the baby noise! I was so stunned that I couldn’t respond immediately.
I had to hold back tears.
When I gathered my emotions, I told her how sorry I was to hear that. I had to hold back tears.
Really? We’re all just trying to survive this chaotic, frightening, and difficult time and a customer complained! And the company passed it along to the employee instead of supporting her!? She admitted she’s fearful and just doesn’t want to get in any more trouble. I asked her a few different times if there’s a phone number or email for customer service that I could reach out to and let them know about the exceptional customer service I received from her (because she skillfully resolved my issue). Unfortunately, each time her answer was “unfortunately no.”
I commend you.
For all of you out there working at home while caring for parents, children, or partners, I commend you for doing everything you can to make it work. I commend you for taking care of your loved ones. I commend you for helping your organization get through this difficult time. I commend you for being there for ME, the customer, who needed assistance. I commend you for helping the economy recover.
A call out to all leaders.
And, for those of you who lead companies. Please, show compassion for your employees. This should be a given—always—but most certainly now.
This article was originally posted on LinkedIn on August 10, 2020 based on an experience I had that compelled me to write about it.
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