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A Few Pebbles, A Sling, and Clear Vision

Imagine—a young, skinny man stands poised, a rock nestled in his sling, eyes locked on a giant of a man armed with a sword and shield mere yards away. This scene, emblematic of the age-old clash between the underdog and the titan, mirrors the ethos I carried through my years as a coach, guiding teams less favored by fortune to triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds. Much like the famous story of David, armed with nothing but a sling, facing Goliath, my teams were often outmatched in height and athleticism. Yet, what we lacked in conventional prowess, we compensated for with ingenuity and an unorthodox strategy. We embraced angles and pressing, inundating our opponents with more shots than they could counter, and honed our hand's precision and quickness to snatch the ball away when our foot speed couldn't match theirs. This philosophy of playing smarter, not harder, translated seamlessly into my work with clients, advocating for a nuanced approach in a business landscape dominated by giants.

In the world of customer service, where efficiency and speed are often prized above all, I've championed an approach that may seem counterintuitive but is profoundly effective—slowing down to genuinely meet customer needs. This strategy is not born of mere conjecture but is supported by a growing body of research emphasizing the value of empathy and personal touch in customer interactions.

A study by the Harvard Business Review highlighted that customers who had personal interactions with companies reported higher satisfaction levels and were more likely to remain loyal to the brand. The findings suggest that customers value being seen and understood, not just as another transaction but as human beings with unique needs and circumstances. This empathetic approach, focusing on the quality of each interaction rather than the quantity, fosters a deeper connection between the customer and the brand.

Further supporting this approach, a report by the Temkin Group found that companies leading in customer experience outperform laggards on the S&P 500 index by nearly 80%. This disparity underscores the tangible benefits of prioritizing customer satisfaction through empathetic engagement, demonstrating that slowing down to personalize customer experiences can lead to significant financial gains.

Moreover, a study conducted by Accenture revealed that 76% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that recognizes them by name and knows their purchase history. This data speaks volumes about the importance of personalization in building brand loyalty. By adopting a data-driven yet empathetic approach to customer service, businesses can not only meet but anticipate the needs of their customers, creating experiences that resonate on a personal level and foster long-term loyalty.

Just as young David with his sling understood that his victory lay not in matching the giant's strength but in leveraging his unique skills and insight, so too have I found that the key to overcoming the giants of the business world lies in embracing what they often overlook—the profound power of empathy and the personal touch. In a landscape where speed and efficiency reign supreme, taking the time to genuinely understand and cater to the individual needs of each customer is the slingshot that can topple giants, turning underdogs into champions of customer satisfaction and loyalty.


  1. Harvard Business Review:

  • "The New Science of Customer Emotions"

  • "Kick-Ass Customer Service: Customers Want Results—Not Sympathy"

  1. Temkin Group (Qualtrics XM Institute):

  • "The ROI of Customer Experience, 2020"

  • "Experience Matters: How to Succeed in the Age of Empathy"

  1. Accenture:

  • "Make Your Wise Pivot to the New"

  • "From Me to We: The Rise of the Purpose-Led Brand"


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