Today’s guest blogger is Rachel Rodriguez, my assistant and account executive extraordinaire. I “found” her when I was teaching for a day at Johnson & Wales University in Miami and, as soon as she graduated, I brought her into the Lois Geller Marketing Group family. She’s made my working life so much easier. Lois
My job was to keep Mom out of the house while the troops prepped the party. What better excuse than a day of pampering at a spa? I browsed Groupon and LivingSocial and found a great deal on an entire day of beauty!
Spa reservation √ Food √ Drinks √ Décor √… Perfect!
Then just two days before the appointment, the spa called. “Ms. Rodriguez, I’m sorry to inform you that we’re overbooked and we’ll have to reschedule your appointment for another day. Currently, we are booked through August.” Grrrr.
To make it more Grrrr-inducing she spoke in that enraging flat voice, a version of Connecticut-lockjaw, that says “I couldn’t possibly care less about you.”
Fuming, and boy, can I fume, I called LivingSocial, where I’d bought the deal. Joey answered and unfumed me immediately. He was a delight, a credit to the whole human race. Joey isn’t part of LivingSocial’s customer service team, no, no. They have a customer advocacy team! I love that. He made me feel that I mattered and he cared.
LivingSocial’s refund policy says you have to request a refund more than seven days before the event but Joey arranged a refund right away. Throughout the whole conversation, I was referred to by name and asked if there was anything else I needed.
Opposite ends of the service spectrum: unbearable idiocy followed by sublime customer service. Here are some takeaways:
Can we put ourselves in the customer’s shoes? Many times we forget the golden rule: “Do unto others before they do unto you.” Oh wait, that’s not it. It’s “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Nobody told the spa lady.
It’s about the customer. Like Lois’s friend Andrea Nierenberg tells us, “People listen to only one radio station and that’s WII-FM (What’s in it for me)”. When dealing with customers, we need to consider how to make everything better for them, not more convenient for us – unless we work for the DVM. Think of the lifetime value of a customer, not just what it’s going to cost at the moment.
Think feelings and solutions, not products. Customers are not just buying a product or service; they’re buying an experience, a feeling, or a solution to a problem. Living Social was great, because Joey immediately recognized that I had a real problem and made it better. This puts it perfectly, “People will rarely remember what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”
Eventually, after a lot of scrambling, Mom’s surprise birthday party went off without a hitch. I will always remember how the spa (which shall remain nameless, for now) and Living Social made me feel.