Today I am tired – tired to the molecular level, I tell you – and that’s why it could have gone either way: I could’ve gone ballistic, or in the interest of energy conservation, I could’ve said nothing . . .
Today is my brother’s wedding anniversary, you see, and last night he called from Afghanistan asking me to send flowers to his lovely wife, Robin – something I wasn’t able to do until around 2:30 this afternoon. I went online, googled florists in her city and state, then scrolled down to find the magic words “same day delivery.” The one I decided on promised to deliver the same day provided the order was placed by 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time Zone and you paid an additional fee. Having an hour to spare and the $2.95 in additional fees, I finished placing my order with 20 minutes to spare then turned my attention back to wrestling the to do list.
Thank goodness the email was up in the background, so I saw the confirmation email followed minutes later by the dreaded there’s-a-problem-with-your-order-call-us-at-your-earliest-convenience email. Well, things immediately shifted and right then became my earliest convenience so I called, and after 7 minutes on hold, Dianne answered and explained that there were no florists in the area willing to deliver today, but they’d all be happy to deliver the flowers sometime tomorrow.
Dianne said something about florists sometimes not being able to get their drivers back in time – to which I said quietly and calmly that I’d met the deadline and their web site was pretty definitive about same day delivery provided orders were placed by 3:30 p.m. Eastern time, which I had done. Dianne then said she’d call Robin and explain that it was their fault and promise her that they would deliver the flowers tomorrow – to which I (still using my best calmly and quietly tone of voice) said that I thought the element of surprise was part of the charm of receiving flowers, didn’t she, then I explained about the anniversary, and being the hopeless romantic she must assuredly be, Dianne then sat up straight (I could hear it in her voice) and said she wasn’t making any promises, but she’d call around and see if she couldn’t explain the situation and find somebody willing to delivery the flowers on their way home or something.
In less than 5 minutes, Dianne called to say that she’d found a florist who, after hearing the story, was willing to drop the flowers off on her way home.
AND they were going to upgrade the order, add a few flowers and a bigger bow or something.
AND they were covering all upcharges on same day delivery.
So you see, sometimes moving a mountain is as easy as 1, 2, 3:
1) Lead with friendly.
2) Be patient.
3) Tell the story.
and TA-DA – everybody goes home smiling.