Here’s an “I-never-thought-it-would-happen-to-me” customer service story. My old Dell PC needs to be put out to pasture. When I open my many and diverse applications, the PC gets slower and slower. Typically, I have open Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, and Outlook, Firefox, and on the Adobe side, Photoshop and Illustrator. Together, they are memory and CPU hogs. The slowdown is now actually affecting my productivity. I have to wait for files to save, files to open, and processes to complete.
After procrastinating long enough on the purchase of a new PC, I spent a good amount of time researching statistics and features, comparing and contrasting the various models and brands. Overall, having a great experience with Dell on my last PC, I opted to purchase a new one with Dell.
Fast forward to delivery day. As we would say in the Army, “my new high speed, low drag,” PC is arriving today. The delivery window is quite wide, from morning to evening. In preparation for receiving the new PC, I rescheduled a few meetings and changed some in-person meetings to a telephone call to ensure I am available for the FedEx driver, no matter the time of day.
I’m at my desk, eager for the box to arrive. Throughout the day, I’m checking the clock a little too much. And when the clock shows 3 pm, eagerness turns into anxiety. In just an hour at 4 pm, I HAVE TO LEAVE. I have to leave to teach my class at the University of Maryland Business School. Now, all I can focus on is the clock. It is consuming all of my attention!
4 PM. I HAVE TO LEAVE
4 pm arrives. I say to myself, “There is no way around it! Gotta go.” I’m bummed big time, to say the least. After class, I check my email. And sure enough, there was the FedEx notification email. It said delivery was attempted at 5:10 pm. I say to myself, “When I get home, I’ll call FedEx customer service and put a hold on the package delivery. I will pick it up later in the week as I have too much going on.”
On the way home, rush hour lasted longer than usual. Instead of 30 minutes, the ride home was about 45 minutes. As I turned the corner on the last street before my house, I saw a FedEx truck. And a second later, I immediately thought to myself, “could it be?”
THANK YOU FEDEX. THANK YOU ROBERT
My heart started racing. “Could it be, really?” I parked behind the truck. I went up to the window and smiled at the driver. He rolled down his window and smiled in return. I gave him my name and sure enough, he had my box.
How did luck shine on me? Well, Robert, the FedEx driver, thought he should come back later in the evening to see if I would be there to pick up the package. He knew from experience with Dell boxes, that the person would very likely be home at night if he missed them during the day. People really, really wanted their new computers.
I asked Robert, “Did you come back just for me?” He smiled and said, “Yes.”
I asked Robert, “did you come back just for me?” He smiled and said, “yes.”
I beamed with a Cheshire cat smile and then some. “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Robert!” I said in response. And of course, I was up all night setting up my new PC.
I was so preoccupied with my new computer, I never asked Robert how long he waited for me? Or if he waited for me outside his shift? What I do know is, this was totally unexpected. Totally, above and beyond.
Next time, when you think about going above and beyond, think about this customer service story. “Do What Robert Would Do.”
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FURTHER READING ON BUSINESS STORYTELLING
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- “Pause” with Purpose in Speaking, Training, and Storytelling (read)
- “1-2-5-10” – Five Steps to Mastering Fundamentals of Presenting and Storytelling (read)
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Photography Source: Ann Arbor Michigan FedEx