The relationships we have with our customers are the most important assets we possess.
Easy to understand and take care of, right?
I encounter a great deal of customer service and disservice as I travel. I have discovered 3 Ways to Give Positive Customer Service from these experiences.
As my assistant made reservations for a stay, the Marriott property had obviously listened to previous patrons and anticipated my needs. They asked,
–“May we pick him up at the airport?”
–“Will he want a ride to his meeting?”
–“May we return him to the airport?”
–“What dinner recommendations would be best?”
“We care” was the message.
The airline experience was different. Four out of five flights changed schedule with only two notifications. One was about a delay due to weather, and then was cancelled. Another the flight attendant was late. The reasons for the rest are unknown to me. I heard, “We don’t care. Get over it.”
There are patterns to your customers’ preferences. Listen carefully, and discover them, anticipate them, and ask based on the common ones. What you do with the answers makes the difference in whether or not they return and boost profitability.
If you consume yourself with your needs, your business’ backdoor is larger than the front. Go ahead and install a revolving door. They’re not coming back.
Listen. Anticipate. Ask.
I discovered the cancelled flight at the ticket counter. There were no more flights that night.
Me: “What can you do to help me?”
Him: “Nothing. It’s weather-related.”
Me: “Do you have a hotel that gives discounts?”
Me: “Is there anything you can do to help me?”
Him: “Nothing. It’s weather-related.”
Me: “Do you realize I fly a lot, but will not fly this airline ever again?” (Every flight this year has had a problem.)
Him: “It’s weather-related.”
Contrast that with the Marriott, whom I called from the airport. She recognized my name, and asked if I made it to the airport fine. When I told her my situation, she moved into action and said, “I have a room for you. Let me take care of this, okay? I’ll turn the van around to come back and get you.”
She then discounted my room rate below the previous night’s stay without my asking and said she was sorry for my inconvenience.
When you work with your customers, helping them benefit even when you obviously will, you narrow the backdoor and widen the front door. You prompt them to tell their friends about the stellar experience.
Work for mutual benefit with your customers and grow your business.
Returning to the Marriott, I was greeted by name, received empathy for my situation, and asked if I’d like the same room I had the night before. It wasn’t available, but she asked what I liked about it and found a similar one on another floor. A complimentary glass of wine helped, also.
The airline booked my flight for the next day at their convenience which meant a 5:00 a.m. alarm. My seat was on the last row—the loudest—and next to the lavatory. Had they simply asked about my flight or seating preferences, even if this was the last available seat, the engines would have seemed quieter and the lavatory smelled better.
The Golden Rule works. Work the Golden Rule.
My assistant avoids booking that airline now, even if it means paying more. She chooses Marriott properties whenever available.
Which business model do you follow—the airline’s or Marriott’s?
Use these three ways to give positive customer service and grow your business’ profitability.
About the Author
Dr. Joey Faucette is the #1 Amazon best-selling author of Work Positive in a Negative World (Entrepreneur Press), coach, and speaker who helps business professionals increase sales with greater productivity so they get out of the office earlier. Discover more at www.ListentoLife.org.