From Agitated to Appreciative: One Customer’s Journey
By: Jennings Fort, Employee Communications
This time of year, it’s nice to be reminded of the good in people.
When Linda Dawkins walked into our store on Nov. 7, she thought it was going to be her last visit.
David Massey, manager at our Cumming Highway store in Canton, Georgia, greeted her at the door. He asked how she was.
“Not too well,” she said. “This is the day I’m going to leave AT&T.”
There was an issue with her DIRECTV account and she was being charged incorrectly. David quickly introduced her to rep Ron Nall. They went to one of the community tables and Linda sat on one of the tall stools. She’d been a customer since 2004. But this issue had gone on too long.
Ron started making calls. He knew she wasn’t happy. And he was determined to get this issue straightened out.
But it required several calls, and Linda waited, frustrated.
At one point, he could see something was wrong. She was in tears. Her face became bright red and she slipped off the stool.
She said she hadn’t eaten that day. She was hypoglycemic and her blood levels must have been off. She needed sugar.
“Do you have any candy?” she asked.
She didn’t look alright
Ron found rep Carrie Deluca and asked if she had anything sweet. She found her purse and dug inside. She could only find a few small pieces of chocolate, but she gave them to Linda.
“My mother has diabetes,” Carrie said, “and I knew those little pieces weren’t going to be enough.”
They went back to Linda and Carrie could see she was in bad shape. Linda had started to shake and she was breathing heavily.
They asked if they could get her something.
“No,” Linda said. “I’ll be alright.”
But she didn’t look alright.
“She was in bad shape,” Carrie said. “I didn’t want to take a chance.”
Candy and orange juice
So Carrie ran to a convenience store a few doors down. She knew from experience with her mother that the customer’s condition could be unstable. At the store, she bought more candy and a large jug of orange juice.
Meanwhile, Ron got some water and had to hold the bottle to Linda’s mouth.
“Ma’am,” he said, putting his arm around her, “Can you hold on? Everything will be alright.”
He asked if he should call her husband. But he thought it was nearly time to call an ambulance. No, she said.
When Carrie returned, she and Ron gave Linda candy and she drank some juice. In a few minutes, the shaking stopped. Her flushed face returned to normal.
“I was just doing my job,” Ron said. “It was what I’d want someone to do for me.”
Steadier now, she offered to pay Carrie back for the candy and juice. But Carrie shook her head.
“I was happy to do it,” she said. “It’s just part of who we are as human beings. I was glad to help.”
They did the right thing
After Linda recovered, Ron solved her account problem. Then, Linda wanted to speak to the store manager again.
With Ron beside her, they went to David's office. She shook his hand and asked for his business card.
"I need somebody to know that you all saved my life today," she said.
David gives Ron and Carrie all the credit. It was about doing what was needed to help someone in real trouble.
"They did such a great job," he said. "Linda had come in that morning wanting to leave us. And they did the right thing."
And, yes, Linda decided to stay with AT&T.
She is grateful to all 3 individuals.
"They knew exactly what to do," she said. "I think I would have gone into a diabetic coma if not for them. I'll never go to any other store."
This story originally appeared on AT&T Insider 11/28/16.
AT&T employees with Linda.
Linda presented the employees with a plaque to show her appreciation.