This is not a business experience anecdote, but could easily apply to customer service theory: When your customer asks, “Can I talk now?” You should definitely listen.
In my case, my customer was my 10 year old daughter. She had just finished choir and I had been on a late evening call with a client while I was waiting for choir to end.
It was really her turn as it was 6:30PM already. Not too late, but really “after hours” for a normal work day. I was actually really sorry that I hadn’t said good bye to the client (who is also a mom and a workaholic like me.) She would have understood and we could have covered what we discussed in a short e-mail.
My daughter, was patient. She was just excited and not irritated, nor sarcastic when she said “Can I talk now?” She was instead confirming that I was off the line. She had some good news to share…customers who want to talk to you may not be calling to say “Congratulations. you just won a really great award and it’s so nice to be your client!” If they were, we’d probably always be ready to listen. But, we do need to hear them – good or bad – carefully paying attention to the cues so that we can enjoy the positive feedback when it is coming at us.
~ Dawn aka Hat Girl