In the previous post, I related a series of unintentional but systemic mistakes from hotels in which I stayed on a recent trip. While the customer service was excellent, and none of the mistakes were anything more than small inconveniences, it was a good reminder to me that it’s those little things we do (or don’t do) that can be the difference between retaining and creating a bond with a customer, or planting the seeds of their going elsewhere.
I ended by saying that I committed a goof myself that I would share.
While on the road, I neglected to check my home/office voice mail for three consecutive days. I’m not sure why, since I check it at least twice per day. But I didn’t. And, one of the callers was a new customer wanting to order a whole bunch of my The Success Formula booklets to give out at upcoming company event. Not only did she leave a message, she left three. They were on a deadline and needed them soon.
It might seem like just a small mistake. Maybe. Maybe not. But…
Her first impression of me was someone who does not return phone calls.
Now, if you know me, you know that I — or at least someone on my team — returns ALL calls, and quickly. In fact, because it’s such a core value, it became a part of my “brand” with those who do business with me. That was not intentional on my part; it just happened.
Fortunately, as usual, Kathy Zader saved the day and took care of things, and our customer was very gracious in realizing it was a one-time oversight. But, it was a good lesson for me to have a “reality check” for myself while I was judging the hotels where I was staying.
Oh, and I know I could forward the calls to Lois, Kathy or another team member (we all work out of our respective homes) when I’m gone, and I might just decide to do that. But, the point is that we all need to be aware of those little things that can help our business and customer relationships or harm them.
I think I learned my lesson. 🙂