Perspective, Perspective, Perspective

We’ve all heard the real estate adage ‘location, location, location’.  There is a similar adage in customer service;  ‘perspective, perspective, perspective’.

Recently we had a customer call to order pocket angels for a child’s funeral.  As is the nature of funerals, time was of the essence and we assured her we could ship the product for overnight delivery.  She was relieved.  We were moved.

A child’s funeral.

Later that day, we received an email from a different customer.  “Unacceptable…a joke…complaint…extremely disappointed” were words that jumped out at us.  Mind you, this is an extremely rare occurrence – thank goodness – so it’s a bit shocking at first.  Then shock gives way to laughter when we realize the distraught customer is completely wrong.  (The old adage that the ‘customer is always right’ did not apply here!)  The exchange of emails that followed brought to mind a conversation one might have with a 3 year old.

3 year old:  “I want the blue one.”

You:  “It doesn’t come in blue.”

3 year old:  “But I want the blue one.”

You get the idea.

It is difficult to handle each of these situations with aplomb on a daily basis unless you have the proper perspective. Shipping pocket angels to be used at a child’s funeral is so profoundly poignant as to be surreal.  Soothing an unreasonably disgruntled customer over a simple miscommunication is difficult and in the end leaves you wondering what the point is.  Which brings you back to the first customer and why we do what we do.  It is this endless cycle, with the positives far outweighing the negatives, and a healthy dose of perspective, that keeps us coming back to work every day.


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