This past Tuesday, I won tickets to the Cowtown Rodeo in New Jersey. I was listening to the Evans and Andie show on WXTU, 92.5 FM, when they ran their “My Three Songs” contest. They play three songs, and the winner has to name the theme common to all of them. “Great,” I said to myself as I heard the first song, That’s What I Love about Sunday, performed by Craig Morgan. “I know this song.” The second one, It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing, performed by Shania Twain, however, presented a greater challenge. I don’t know this song, but I realized I had to figure out the theme before this second song was over, because by the time the third song began, everyone would be calling in.

So, I’m listening really hard, and I hear a reference to “my dreams only die when I’m dreaming” or something like that. “Aha,” I said to myself, “that relates to the first song, where Mr. Morgan sings about “catnappin’ in a porch swing.” By this time, the third song, Long Trip Alone, by Dierks Bentley, is playing. I know this song really well, but right at that moment, I can’t think where he references terms about “sleeping,” because that’s the answer I intend to give.

I hit the speed dial button for WXTU, hear it ring, then to my shock hear someone ask me, “Hi, so what’s your answer?” I gave him my answer, and when he said I was right, excitement raced through me. But still, I guess I must have been my normal self when I answered, because the next thing he says is, “Now, when you’re on the air, try to sound excited.” I then was put on the air with Evans and Andie, gave them the answer, and then, at their request, gave them a loud “yee hah.” Evans and Andie, if you’re reading this blog, thanks for the tickets, and if I forgot to thank you on the air, I apologize.

Whatever you think about country music, you will agree that several unhappy themes predominate:

– leavin’ (Brooks and Dunn, That Ain’t No Way to Go; George Strait, She’ll Leave You with a Smile and I Can Still Make Cheyenne; Glen Campbell, By the Time I Get to Phoenix)

– cheatin’ (Mr. Strait’s performance of I Hate Everything and Messrs. Brooks’s and Dunn’s performance of She’s Not the Cheatin’ Kind)

– not listenin’ (Mr. Strait’s performance of Write This Down)

It may be funny to think of country music this way. It’s not funny, though, if and when your customers have these emotions about you and the help desk service you provide. So, every now and then, ask yourself if possibly your customers think about country music in connection with your level of service. If they do, you might have a problem. If you’re not listenin’ to them, they’ll get frustrated. They’ll start cheatin’ on you (by going to other sources of help) or, in the extreme case, they will be leavin’ you (such as via outsourcing).

The good news: by listening to what Jeff Dray and I have to say, you can reduce those chances and turn your customers around.

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