Next week, October 7-11, is National Customer Service Week. I’ve never been much for “Hallmark holidays,” but they do serve as useful reminders. And I love an excuse to give a gift. So here is a small Customer Service Week gift that won’t need a vase or make anyone fat.

We recently received the following comment from a customer after his FNOL call. I’ll wait while you read it:

“Keep doing what you are doing showing concern for your customers. I actually learned from this situation. I work in roofing and when people call in with a leak I now know to show concern and have feeling for them. [Before] I would just schedule the repairs, [but] going forward I will show my concerns because it really matters to the customer that is going through the situation. Our home is our most important concern. Thanks for helping me learn from my experience. And keep the attitude you have, I was very impressed. I thought you would just enter my information but you took the time to assure me and understand what I was telling you happened to my home.”

From his claim call to Tower Hill, this man learned he should show empathy to his customers. That surprised me a little. Call me overly-optimistic, but I like to think people don’t have to be told they should express concern when another person requests help.

This guy, however, needed to be reminded. It sounds like he isn’t heartless, it just didn’t occur to him to actually express concern to customers. I can’t judge him for that, and I congratulate his self-awareness and willingness to change.

My Customer Service Week gift to you is this man’s story. You can share it with your team, and take the opportunity to talk about showing empathy. The trick is to show it, not just feel it.

“Empathy is like a universal solvent. Any problem immersed in empathy becomes soluble.” – Simon Baron-Cohen