What “Breaking A Leg” Can Teach Us About Exceptional Customer Service

Have you ever heard the saying, “break a leg”? Well-wishers typically say this to actors and musicians before they go on stage to perform. The expression reflects a theatrical superstition in which wishing a person “good luck” is considered bad luck. In fact, many people have shared these words with me prior to a speech. Little do they know it could happen at any moment!

Recently, I was in a hotel gym, when the unexpected happened. While running on the treadmill, my artificial leg suddenly snapped in half! As you can imagine, the loud noise, followed by my flying foot, startled everyone in the gym. I gathered my broken parts, helped a man regain consciousness who had fainted from witnessing this shocking event, and then bunny-hopped back to my room!

Knowing that showing up for my speech the following morning without a leg was not an option, I was now faced with an immediate dilemma. I needed a spare leg that absolutely, positively, had to arrive overnight, in order for me to walk on stage by eleven a.m.. I realized this was a possibility because of the extraordinary service I have received over the years from my local FedEx driver, Dave Pava. I called FedEx with a request you don’t often hear, “Please go to my neighbor’s house and pick up my spare leg.” Dave retrieved the limb, placed it in a box, and as promised, it arrived promptly at ten a.m. the following morning. I quickly put on my spare leg and delivered my speech on time, at eleven!

Wouldn’t you agree that we are all serving others, either internally, or externally? Here are three questions that are vitally important to answer, no matter who your customer is.

Do you understand who they are? Dave took the time to learn about me. He understood I had a physical disability and wore an artificial leg. Therefore, my unique request did not catch him off guard. By understanding the people you serve, you can deliver meaningful and compelling solutions to their problems.

Do you know what they do? I had several conversations with Dave regarding my work as a motivational speaker. The more you understand what a person does, the easier it will be to anticipate their needs and create unique experiences that are memorable.

Do you know what they expect of you? The promise was crystal clear. My spare leg absolutely, positively had to arrive overnight. One of the most impressive qualities you can develop is the ability to do what you say you will do. When you follow through on your commitments, you develop a valuable reputation for effectiveness and dependability.

Wishing you the very best! AKA “Break A Leg!”

Have you ever experienced a time when a company understood your needs and exceeded your expectations?

share this article