The Bar is Low… Jump It

Empathy Kindness Respect


Key Point: Do you remember the last time you were “wowed” by customer service?  How about by a fellow employee? This is when someone made you feel something so memorable, that you’ve quietly retold the story to yourself and/or shared it very publicly (perhaps even on social media).

I recently listened to stories in my work place. One customer service team member told us about making a very personal, emotional connection with someone who called in to assure his Master Card supported an upcoming trip to China. Our customer representative politely inquired about the trip and the client excitedly told her about the pending adoption of a 12-year-old Chinese child. They then mutually connected on the anticipation and anxiety of a new family addition.

Upon accommodating the customer’s Master Travel Card request for the above China trip, our service rep went on to send this customer a gift card to a local pizza parlor. Our team member had coincidentally adopted a child too, and a regular trip to the pizza parlor helped solidly connect their newly formed family. She genuinely wanted to share the “pizza parlor gift,” with hopes for a similar outcome for this new family. Upon returning home from China, the customer opened the gift card. They were touched, extremely grateful, and raved about the experience. To make the story better, a new out-of-province customer, unfamiliar with who our regional bank was, came into a branch to find out what made us different. Instead of sending marketing material on products and services, we retold the above story. The customer was impressed but not fully convinced. While he was thinking about moving his money to us, inspired by the Care Center story above, one of our team members sent two tickets to the prospective customer to enjoy the top view of his new city from the iconic Calgary Tower. This customer was so impacted by our thoughtful generosity, anticipation and propensity to act, that he moved ALL of his money to our bank. So here’s the deal… These two connected stories represent thoughtful, considerate acts, but it doesn’t take a superhero to make them happen. Anyone could have done this… But few of us do. Why?

Character Moves:

  1. Distinguish yourself by creating a “wow” for a customer. Sadly, and yet opportunistically, the bar is so very low. Anyone showing a sense of genuine empathy, followed by an act of “wow” can distinguish himself or herself memorably. Be THAT person. Remember a customer is the next person or process. If you can create a “wow,” you will be more than memorable. 
  1. Why not strategize and commit to “wowing” someone at work everyday? Remember that a wow does not necessarily have to be big, or expensive. It can be a simple act of care. If you do that thoughtfully and well, you will differentiate yourself. If not you, who? Why not? The bar is low. Stand out by being one of the few that takes a little intentional time.

Raising the wow bar in the Triangle,


One Millennial View: I feel like “wow” factors happen in circles outside of work quite often… The small “wow.” It’s that twinkle of excitement when you slip the waiter your card like a spy to unexpectedly take care of a small group’s brunch before the bill comes, just because. Or when you’re going to Chick-Fil-A and decide to pick your roommate up a sandwich for later, because why not? That stuff is so simple… It’s that quick, burst of “good” you feel in the moment that overcomes any little monetary sum or effort taken. It needs no reciprocation, but I feel like that’s lost in the work environment sometimes… For example, I take a three-block jaunt to Starbucks everyday, and although I “offer” to fill my co-worker’s orders before turning my back out the door, I’m guilty of it being a little obligatory/disingenuous… I have, and would, but it doesn’t feel the same. Why? Maybe next time, I’ll insist, it’s definitely a low bar I can jump.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis