The relationships we have with our customers are the most important assets we possess.
Easy to understand and take care of, right?


As I travel, I encounter a great deal of customer service and disservice. Last week, I learned 3 Ways to Give Positive Customer Service from some positive and negative experiences. Here they are:

As my assistant made reservations for my 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?”
It was if they anticipated my every need. “We care” was the message.

My experience with the airline was totally different. Four out of five flights changed schedule. There were only two notifications. One was about a delay due to weather, but then it 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 you discover them, anticipate them, and can 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, like this airline, consume yourself with your needs only, your business’ backdoor is larger than the front. Go ahead and install a revolving door. They’re not coming back.

Listen. Anticipate. Ask.

Mutual Benefit
I discovered the cancelled flight at the ticket counter. There were no more flights that night. When I asked, “What can you do to help me?” the response was, “Let me get my supervisor.”

Me: “What can you do to help me?”
Him: “Nothing. It’s weather-related.”
Me: “No vouchers?”
Him: “Nothing. It’s weather-related.”
Me: “Do you have a hotel that gives discounts?”
Him: “No.”
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 immediately, and asked if I made it to the airport fine. When I told her my situation, she moved into action.
Her: “I have a room for you. Let me take care of this, okay? I’ll turn Ronda around on the van to come back to get you.”
Me: “Thanks so much.”
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.

Golden Rule
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 the room 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 I set a 5:00 a.m. alarm. My assigned seat was on the last row—the loudest—and next to the lavatory. Had they simply asked about my flight or seating preferences, the engines would have seemed quieter and the lavatory smelled better.

The Golden Rule works. Work the Golden Rule.

I instructed my assistant to avoid booking this airline ever again, even if it means paying more.

I asked her to choose Marriott properties whenever available.

Which business model do you follow—the airline’s or Marriott’s?

Be positive with your customer service and grow your business’ profitability.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Joey Faucette is the #1 Amazon best-selling author of Work Positive in a Negative World (Entrepreneur Press), coach, and speaker who help professionals discover success in the silver lining of their business and achieve their dreams. Discover more at