By Jeff Korhan
Episode 60 of Landscape Digital Show reveals customer care marketing lessons in leadership, communication, and training from an actual case study.
The best marketing for any business is not what its media says, but the actions the business takes, especially when circumstances are less than optimal.
To perform in these clutch situations – and let’s face it, everything in life is a performance, requires a customer care plan.
This means that your people need to be trained for every conceivable circumstance they may encounter. One of the best ways to prepare is to take situations that you experience or learn about and break them down into practical lessons that become part of your regular training.
That’s what we’re going to do today as we explore a situation that ignited the social and traditional media channels around the globe last week.
Of course, I’m talking about the incident involving one of the major airlines in which a passenger was “re-accommodated” with the use of excessive force. (Google that term for the backstory).
This situation and others like them are case-studies that can prove invaluable for preparing your business to avoid or skillfully manage crisis situations like them with leadership, communication, and training.
Customer Care Starts with Leadership
Many people have called for the firing of the airline CEO.
If you are the owner of your landscaping business, you know what that spotlight feels like when operations do not go as planned. Unlike the airline CEO, I hope that you will:
a. Acknowledge the situation and calmly take responsibility for it.
b. Get together with your team and study it to learn what went wrong and how it can be avoided in the future.
c. Fix it for this customer and train your team so that it never happens again.
I’m confident you already knew this. But let’s consider taking this a step further with your marketing.
As you resolve difficult situations consider making them teaching moments that are shared with all of your customers.
Depending on your community, they will probably find out on their own through Angie’s List, Yelp, or day-to-day word of mouth. If you take the lead and risk being vulnerable, you can make this a teaching moment that shows your company’s commitment to making things right.
Everybody hates rework, especially customers. So, the next time you have to incur the warranty expense of replacing expensive trees, use your media to share a lesson on watering or whatever went wrong to help other customers avoid a similar event with their property.
If the problem was something underground, have a conversation about soil types and amendments. You can try to protect your business with contract language, and should, but a better approach is to support it with teaching examples.
Customer Care Requires Proactive Communication
A friend of mine wrote an article last week about her true experience with another airline that also involved a challenging situation. It turned out to be memorable for all of the right reasons because the pilot proactively communicated with the passengers, every step Go to the full article.