I popped in to the post-office today to post a few parcels off with some “goodies” in them for friends.
At the counter next to me an old lady was showing one of the assistants an old newspaper with a really old photograph showing a scene from about 80 years or so ago. She was telling the assistant about how there were only two people left alive who remembered that event and how she wanted to post a copy to her son to show him.
The assistant listened to her, asked her questions about the scene, and expressed interest about various aspects of the story. They were still going when I left.
You could tell from the discussion that the old lady really appreciated someone just listening and paying attention to her. Amid all the impersonality of modern life, here was someone who was making her feel human and valuable again.
Does this kind of customer service have a payoff? An ROI? Will it increase loyalty or sales?
Quite frankly I don't know. And I don't need to know.
Life isn't all about calculating whether you'll get a payback from everything you do. We all owe a duty of care to our fellow human beings – especially the elderly. To try to calculate whether those actions will have a payoff is crass in the extreme. Just do them.
Apologies for going a bit off-topic. There's no great sales or marketing learning in this story. No insights for professional services. But maybe something for us to thing about as human beings.