Ideas: Remember the Two Levels of Every Interaction

This idea is excerpted from Barbara’s book “CARE Packages for Your Customers”, (McGraw-Hill, 2006).

The Idea:

Every interaction we have with anyone has two levels–the Business level of meeting their external objectives and the Human level which is all about how that interaction makes them feel. Whenever you are dealing with anyone, a customer, a co-worker, or an employee, make sure you have met both of these needs in your interaction whether it is written, electronic, or face-to-face.

The Idea In Action:

Since I am a professional speaker and author, I travel nearly every week. I recently had a horribly traumatic experience with a credit card while I was on the road. When I finally returned and called the credit card company, I told the customer service rep the whole, terrible story, almost in tears because I was reliving it again. The very first thing she said to me after hearing the whole, horrendous story was, “What’s your account number?”

What level did she go to immediately? What did that tell about how she felt about ME, a human being with an awful story? I felt as if I’d been slapped in the face!

That whole interaction could have been a positive one if she had only acknowledged my feelings and first dealt with me on a human level. She might have said something like, “What a terrible experience you had! Let’s see how I can help you. What’s your account number?” or, “I am really sorry that happened to you. Let’s get it fixed right now. What’s your account number?”

Notice how in just a few extra seconds she could have met both my human and my business needs, and I would have left the interaction feeling as if someone in that big, bureaucratic organization cared about me. As it was, I cancelled that credit card because I do not want to do business with an organization where people don’t care about people.

Tips For Implementation:

Always remember that people are desperate to be recognized as HUMAN BEINGS. They are tired of being account numbers, government numbers, social security numbers. As technology increases, it will become more and more important for customer service professionals to create a personal relationship with customers, and this can only be done on the Human level. It doesn’t take a lot of extra time, but it does take an awareness of the customer’s human need and the importance of that to be acknowledged.

Barbara Glanz Biography

A member of the prestigious Speaker Hall of Fame and one of fewer than 700 Certified Speaking Professionals worldwide, Barbara Glanz, CSP, CPAE, works with organizations to improve morale, retention and service and with people who want to rediscover the joy in their work and in their lives. She is the first speaker on record to have spoken on all 7 continents and in all 50 states. Known as "the business speaker who speaks to your heart as well as to your head," Barbara is the author of twelve books including The Simple Truths of Service Inspired by Johnny the Bagger®, CARE Packages for the Workplace, and 180 Ways to Spread Contagious Enthusiasm™. Voted "best keynote presenter you have heard or used" by Meetings & Conventions Magazine, Barbara uses her Master’s degree in Adult Learning to design programs that cause behavior change. She lives and breathes her personal motto: “Spreading Contagious Enthusiasm™” and can be reached at and

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