When Pigs Fly In Customer Service


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pigsflyThe last baby goose at the local feed store went home with my sister and I, as a gift from the owner. More likely, it was a “let me get rid of this crazy goose to whomever will take it” sort of thing. We thought it was a boy and named it Bert the Goose. This lasted about 6 months until Bert the Goose laid an egg. Her name remained Bert.

Snuffy the pig was a rescue. He was so overweight his stomach dragged on the ground and flaps of fat fell over his eyes. He clearly was an unhappy yet friendly fellow.

My sister and I grew up with these two creatures. The relationship with Bert the Goose varied as she calmly let us pet her soft feathers then would chase after us, beak open, and bite our Achilles tendon until she left her mark to teach us who is boss. Snuffy became part of our playtime. We’d swing on the swing set and Snuffy would wander around, practically blind, underneath us. We’d grab his tusks gently and hold up the skin around his eyes to help him see.

One morning, I was sent to collect eggs from the chicken coop and I noticed both Bert and Snuffy were no where to be seen.

I peered into Snuffy’s pen and saw Bert the goose tucked in next to him as they both slept soundly. Weeks went on and these two were inseparable. A pig and a goose, moving everywhere together around the yard, cuddling at night and seemingly, quite content together and clearly in love. My mother would joke, “Here are the two that will make the saying, “When pigs fly” a reality”.

There are unlikely stories all around us. Customers approach us with the most unbelievable situations and it is our job to listen. Sometimes, we may not believe it and other times, we just give them the benefit of the doubt.

And, sometimes, the unlikely resolutions come from our side. We invent creative solutions to something that never seemed possible, making for the happiest of customers.

But, we must remember if a pig and a goose can fall in love, anything can happen.

When Pigs Fly In Customer Service

  • Listen to your customer’s story

Their story may be absolutely bat poo crazy, but can you simply just listen to your customer? Taking the time to listen to the story not only makes for a great story to share with your team later on, but it gives the customer a sense of trust–they can trust you to listen and take them seriously, despite the situation. When I tell people the story of Bert the Goose and Snuffy the Pig, I’m given a look of pure craziness and disbelief. Does this surprise you?

  • Find creative solutions

It is my hope that you reading this are empowered by your employer to develop creative solutions to problems that your customers have. Being able to hand craft these resolutions, custom to the situation, gives you more control and also gives your customer more power to believe in your business. We ended up enlarging the pen for Bert and Snuffy, as well as cushioning it with more stray, to give them more space to sprawl out comfortably when sleeping at night.

  • Don’t Doubt Yourself

Don’t doubt for one minute that you can’t help your customer. Don’t doubt that you don’t have the solution for your customer. With Bert and Snuffy, their relationship was so unique we were not sure exactly how to react, but we allowed it to be as it is and to allow them to love just as they wanted and needed to. We were confused, yes, but we didn’t doubt ourselves and take this away from them. I hope you don’t do the same for your customer, who has approached you to help fix their issues.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jenny Dempsey
Jenny is Consumer Experience Manager for Apeel Sciences and FruitStand with more than 15 years of customer service experience. She is co-founder and a regular contributor on CustomerServiceLife.com.


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