In the rush of activity, it's easy to forget that we're not serving customers, we're serving people. When individuals approach us for assistance, we see just a snippet of their existence. We have no way of knowing what challenges or crisis's they're quietly coping with as they approach us for help. Providing rude or apathetic service is always bad business, but provide it to a person suffering mental or physical pain and it's bad human behavior.
When serving others, it's safe to assume that some of the customers you encounter today are undergoing tremendous physical or mental trauma. Who these people are, or what crisis's they face will likely never be revealed, but rest assured, your actions will make a positive or negative impact on their outlook for the day. Here are some sobering statistics (year 2000) about various crisis's your United States customers silently face every day.
Death of a loved one. Today, 6,504 people in the United States will die. Since the average person has some sort of relationship with more than 100 people, more than 650,000 customers are walking around today, dealing with the shocking news about the death of a loved one. How will you treat these people when they come to you for service?
Suicide. Today, more than 90 people will take their own lives. Another 1,350 will attempt suicide. This means that sometime today, hundreds of customer service representatives unknowingly have the opportunity to convince these people they are valuable human beings. However, there will be no way to identify who they are. How will you treat these people when they come to you for service?
Divorce. Today, 3,440 spouses will be served with papers for divorce. For many of them, this surprise will cause total and absolute devastation. How will you treat these people when they come to you for service?
Missing children. Today, more than 2,000 children will be listed as missing. How will you treat their parents when they come to you for service?
Rape. Today, 263 women will report that they were raped. Hundreds more will suffer the same fate without reporting it. How will you treat these customers when they come to you for service?
Death of pet. Today, 15,890 faithful house pets -- dogs and cats with an average age of 10 years -- will die. How will you treat their owners when they come to you for service?
Loss of job. Today, 7,123 people will be laid-off, fired or otherwise removed from their jobs. How will you treat them when they come to you for service?
Remember, you're not just serving customers, you're serving human beings.