I have a friend who recently left his ATM debit card at a gas station (no it really wasn’t me–although clearly something I would do). He didn’t discover that it was missing until the following day. He hunted high and low, thinking it was lost. As he traced his steps, it led him back to the gas station where he had filled up the day before.

He called the station. Success. It was indeed there at the station.

"I’m here until 10 pm," said the attendant. "But, if you can’t make it in, I could meet you on my way home and give it back to you."

My friend was blown away.

"Thank you very much, but I’ll just come pick it up, right now," my friend responded.

"OK, well if I’m in the back of the store, just wait and I’ll be right back. I’ve got it right here for you."

Again, my friend was amazed at the attendant’s care and pro-activity regarding the return of the card. When, he finally met the attendant, he thanked her for her help and genuine concern about his card.

"Oh, the same thing has happened to me," she laughed, "so I know what you’re going through."

As my friend related this story to me, it struck me why this woman gave such great customer service.

She connected my friends need to her own experience.

The best customer service comes from a genuine person who wants to help. And, the best way to be genuine with a customer is NOT to put yourself in his or her shoes. But, remember a time you WERE in his or her shoes and act accordingly.