How Can I Help You?

I work at a call center….I’ve worked customer service for way too many years…something like a million years. Ok, the reality is about 20 years. Do you know how every single phone call of every single day starts?

How can I help you?

Here’s the reality – How can I help you? What can I do for you? We have turned this sincere question into a benign meaningless, senseless, stupid, catch all phrase that bridges us from a ring tone to a resolution. I hate this meaningless empty hollow calloused phrase. At every call center I’ve ever worked at this phrase is a call metric. You don’t ask the question, then you don’t achieve a “call dimension” you risk failing the call. Too many call failures you’re out of a job. So we go through the motions – how are you?

How can I help?

From that point we busily go through the motions of solving and resolving as quickly as possible. Because we are also be “graded” and judged on effeciency. This dimension is measured by the clock and time. Was your issue resolved in a timely manner while staying on task and keeping non related chit chat to an absolute minimum. Each call type is given a goal or target time of resolution – a number on a clock – simple task get nominal time, complicated task slightly longer. The analyst and statistician all get together and decided that on average there are a given number of call types and the average time an average rep will take an average time of X to preform the task – or call time. So, we say hello. Ready set go – brain starts churning assess the issue – determine an outcome and get on with it – half listening one eye on the clock. Ready set go – How are you?

How can I help you?

My friends call me calloused, cynical and jaded because I so regularly rant about these phrases. The reality is that I’m really none of those things – How are you? How can I help?

To me when I say those words it’s an invitation – an invitation for you to unload. Or to sit in silence with you because there are no words. Several times over the years these two questions have allowed me to be present to show up. It amazes me how it looks because each time it looks different and it feels different – but it is an experience that changes you as a person in makes you more human and less a corporate robot. One time it was making myself available via Facebook chat to a friend that was deployed, stepping in and sending care packages. Another time it was listening to a different friend discuss their issues with a deployment reintegration – that was about 2 am and being hours away from this person I’ve never felt so helpless. Yet, another time it was gifting food to someone who was struggling to feed their family. Not one time in any of these situations did the person I was friends with clearly articulate how they honestly were nor did they clearly define what I could do to help. But I did something. Something…because something is better than nothing and not may be a blumbering attempt, it may not be perfect…but it’s an attempt. And because sometime we don’t know how to express how we are or what we are feeling.

How Can I Help You?

It’s a question that gives the appearance of care without personal risk. It sedates our guilt of not really not know how to help or possibly even truly caring or we would do something.

How Can I Help You?

Should be something we say and MEAN – not a thoughtless phrase that we say mindlessly many times a day.

How Can I Help You?

One of the guiding and grounding principles that NuLife2Me is established in is supporting people through major health transitions such as a new diabetes diagnosis, pre- or post- weight loss surgery or any event that makes you realize that you have to change your habits to better your health. I want you to know that we are here for you and that when we say – How Can I Help You – it’s an invitation to allow us to become part of your support network.

Either reply below or go to Facebook and let us know what your biggest challenge is as you face a major health habit change.

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