“When you start viewing your customers as interruptions, you’re going to have problems.” – Kate Zabriskie


Positive Quote: “When you start viewing your customers as interruptions, you’re going to have problems.” – Kate Zabriskie


I smile when I read this quote. It reminds me of a time in my career (decades ago) where I actually did view people (customers, co-workers) as interruptions. I did not like to answer my phone and regularly let it go to voice mail. Looking back, I am not proud of myself and cannot believe I really felt that way.


Thankfully, I was scheduled to attend a several day long customer service training class. I vividly remember the instructor asking everyone in the room (there were about 20 of us) if we saw phone calls as interruptions to our work. I hate to admit that I was one of a handful who raised my hand. That started off the class with a why that was not the case. The instructor did a great job of helping myself and others realize that those phone calls, those drop ins into your cubicle or office, well… those are opportunities to be of help and to potentially address a situation about to go south.


Imagine that phone call could be from your largest customer and they went to you before going to your boss. Or that walk in request for help on a question, that person came to you before they either made a decision with limited information or they could have avoided making a decision at all.


Yes, I realize not all calls or drop ins are like this. However, just knowing they could be. For me that was the turning point. Now when the phone rings or someone stops by, I either a) ask them to give me a minute to save my work or jot down a note to remember where I was and then talk with them or b) stop what I’m doing and start talking with them, or c) if it really is a bad time for me, I’ll ask them if I can schedule some time with them to ensure they have my full attention. Usually, this means I need to understand the urgency and importance. Then I have to follow through.


What do you think about this quote?


Have a terrific Thursday.



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