What do THEY want?

What do THEY want?

Posted by Wendi Pomerance Brick on February 13, 2011 at 4:24pm


You and I have both had experiences where we see an employee role their eyes when their phone rings or when a customer is at the counter for assistance. “What do they want?” is what they are thinking, and sometimes even what they say aloud.

It’s easy, and perfectly natural, to get frustrated when you are answering the same questions over and over, or when your customers are generally in a bad mood. Many of us operate under very challenging conditions.

The challenge is keeping in mind that “they” are you when you visit them in their place of business, and we all want the same things.

I recently had to call a government office. The situation I found myself in was upsetting, emotional, and caused financial hardship. First, I had to call EIGHT times. I finally got through and listened to a phone tree that was almost three minutes long. After the message, I heard “Due to a large volume of callers, no one is available to take your call. Goodbye.” Click. Trying to get through to this office was making matters much worse than they were already.

I finally did get to speak with someone. Poor guy. I was my nicest, but I was really upset. He helped, and without even realizing, showed me all four of the universal customer desires I encourage people to keep in mind when working with someone in need. We actually all want the same things.

  1. To be treated with dignity and respect, like we actually matter
  2. To have some control over the situation when we feel helpless
  3. To be understood and heard, and
  4. To have the issue resolved quickly and accurately.

Being more aware of these four universal customer desires will help you shift the paradigm of feeling “interrupted” by customers during the day, and help you achieve the goal of providing outstanding service to every person, every day.


(Originally posted on GovLoop.)