A few weeks ago, I highlighted a great piece about Bill Gates.(https://shaunbelding.comcustomer-service/its_not_customer_service_but_well_maybe_it_is/
It wasn’t a traditional customer service story, but it was a fantastic illustration of the principles. Well, here’s another one – from a very unlikely source. Here’s the story:
There is a very sick young man named Justin in St. Vincent hospital in Ottawa who had a picture autographed by two members of the Ottawa Senators – Ottawa’s National Hockey League franchise. The signees were Captain Jason Spezza and star defenseman Erik Karlsson. The picture, which he treasured, was stolen out of his car this week by some callous loser. His mother wasn’t sure how to break it to him.
When Jason Spezza heard the story, he took action immediately. He recorded a personal video message, then sent it to Justin, along with a team-signed jersey and new autographed pictures. Needless to say, Justin and his family were thrilled. It was a happy ending. (here’s the full story: http://www.ottawasun.com/2014/03/13/ottawa-senators-captain-jason-spezza-shows-his-softer-side)
So ask yourself – what is the likelihood that the Senators now have at least one guaranteed fan for life? Pretty likely, I would think. Now ask yourself, what was it that made this gesture so meaningful? The answer, of course, is the clear message to Justin that the Ottawa Senators genuinely care about him.
It’s a wonderful story, and one I think we can all learn from.
As an aside, I should point out that this is not the first time captain Jason Spezza has done something like this. In addition to being one of the most skilled hockey players in the world, he is also one of the most compassionate. This makes him a leader in every sense of the word.
Hockey fans in the City of Ottawa can sometimes be pretty harsh, and unfair, on their star players – and Spezza has had an undeservedly disproportionate share of criticism in his career here. One thing they can’t criticize, though, is his character. And ultimately, when push comes to shove, what else is more important?