I actually had an entirely different blog post planned for this #TravelTuesday . I promise two things. First, this won’t turn into a total whine fest. Second, it will end on a happy note.
In the past seven days I have had 2 large companies, with whom I have had long standing relationships, let me down. The first was a clothing company for whom I have been a “Pro Guide” for three years. The other is an airline to whom I have been exceptionally loyal for nearly a decade.
While the details are different, each instance of customer dissatisfaction was precipitated by the low level Customer Service Employee, with whom I dealt, not being able to go “off script.” In both situations, a loyal customer has been lost due to their inability to deal with serious issues arising their overly large, bloated companies due not equip them to handle.
And, while I have no proof of this, I have a hint that in each circumstance the employee was afraid of the giant corporation for whom they worked. They appeared to me less afraid of losing a customer, than they were about being perceived as unable to do their jobs, by “kicking it up" the pipeline. At a certain point both of these companies have fostered a “that’s not in my paygrade” institutional thinking.
On the upside, it proves there is a place in the world for more intimate businesses. These experiences reinforced my commitment to such clothing/gear companies as a ONE WAY™ in Kenya and Kathmandu™ in New Zealand. And, the experiences offer validation for my bespoke, personal Safari service.
As for the airline, I was able to receive excellent customer service from Etihad Airlines™. I was forced out of my comfort zone - maybe even what could be described as an “airline rut.” Additionally, I may have found an even better airline to service my clients.
No one wants bad experiences. But in business, there is always something to learn from them. I plan to take these experiences and make sure they reinforce how valuable not only my client relationships are, but also my B2B relationships as well. At the end of the day, we all want the same thing out of all our relationships – to be treated with respect and fairness. That’s exactly what I intend to continue providing in my business relationships.
Happy Travel Tuesday!
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