You Are Who We See.

I thought about entitling this “A Tale of Two Sprints.”

But I was afraid it would be taken as just another phone rant (which, I’ll admit, there is a little bit of, too!) and some development director might not make the connection.

Fact is, your constituent’s (or customer’s) impression of your organization will be based on the day-to-day interactions with your staff. No matter what their role.

I recently dropped my phone (Samsung Epic) and it stopped working.

The following morning I took it into the Sprint store at Ward Parkway. Young Sam greeted me, asked me to sign the waiver acknowledging that I could lose data if the phone had to be reset, and told me to check back in twenty minutes.

When I came back half an hour later, Sam explained the phone was fine, the screen just wasn’t working. They didn’t have one in stock, but the tech had called around and found one in the Lee’s Summit store.

"Really?" I asked. "Nothing closer?"

Sam shrugged. “Well,” he said. “You’re the one that dropped the phone.”

(And had dutifully paid the equipment protection charge each month, too, although that didn’t appear to hold much value for Sam.)

I stopped by my office and called a newer store downtown.

“Sure we have it,” the young lady said brightly. “And I can see here that with the plan you have it’s going to be covered. Can you bring it in?”

I did. They did. And I’m back to being a happy customer.

A lot of equipment, technology and people go into providing cell phone service. But at one point, my impression of an entire company hinged on one store clerk with poor (or no) service skills.

Are there similar “weak links” in your organization? Does everyone understand, no matter what their primary job responsibility, the critical "customer service" role they can play?