Guest post by Cathenry.
The next lesson learned in the Forbes series (Nine Impactful Customer Service Lessons That Can Change Your Business Approach) is “Always Take Care of Every Customer.”
A self-check is to ask yourself: How would I, as a customer, want to be treated? The golden rule standard of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you comes in handy here. Sadly, that sentiment seems to be thought of as archaic.
Part of its meaning is that sometimes you have to take the higher ground and not treat the customer as they are treating you. Few temperaments are mean by default. Any rudeness or abruptness on a customer’s part probably stems from their previous poor consumer treatment received while doing business with other companies. They are acting in kind because this is how they think business is done, to be demanding and even caustic.
As mentioned in a previous post, I use a booking agency for my business that provides a level of security for me regarding verifying guest identity; managing guest and host reviews; handling receipt of money; offering a host advice and assistance support system; and flagging risky inquiries for me. I’m pretty much sold on their service even though no company is perfect and there is always room for improvement.
While I’m able to maintain a level of flexibility as a sole proprietor, some rules are non-negotiable for the guest booking through them. The cancelation policy through my booking company is one of the sticky wickets.
This is where common sense prevails. Instead of the guest waiting for a refund, I would refund it to them personally. I receive their fees almost immediately after the first night’s booking whereas the size of my booking agency is such that they have steps they must go through to resolve the situation.
Granted, some discernment is needed on my part whether their extenuating circumstances are legit before I personally make a refund. Hopefully, when they take it up with me first, I can resolve it quickly. I have never had to do this but anticipate putting such a practice into place like my having at least 24-hour notice for booking instead of instant booking to prevent error.
A refund to a customer is always easier than them carrying around any resentment that they may associate with my business.
This is the fourth in a series of posts. Read all posts here.
Cathenry has operated a boutique bed and breakfast enterprise in her home since 2014. Her business goal is to give guests a positive and memorable customer service-driven bed and breakfast experience. She always has gravitated to businesses demonstrating sound professional ethics, clear communication, and successful customer service. Having known customer service advocate Mark Lusky for more than 11 years, collaborating as a guest blogger is a natural outgrowth of their association.
Drawing on her extensive hospitality, hosting, event planning and customer outreach experience, Cat brings to the table unique perspectives and insights that expand the gravitas of this customer service-driven blog. She also brings to bear intense curiosity stemming from serving as a former reporter, teacher, and organizational coach with certified training.
As research and curating of information have long been Cat passions, she also will offer the perspectives and insights of third-party subject matter experts in the field of customer service as part of her guest blogger contributions.