Set Yourself Apart In The Tough Times

Winningo on the uphillSeth Godin wrote an interesting post yesterday about “winning on the uphills” that really resonated with me.

The crux of the post:

“On the uphills, I have a reasonable shot at a gain over last time. The downhills are already maxed out by the laws of physics and safety.

The best time to do great customer service is when a customer is upset.”

It’s great to pat yourself on the back when things are going well, it’s when things get tough that you can set yourself apart and when you can either lose customers forever or cement their loyalty. I’ve seen it happen many times – it’s something we do on a daily basis on our clients’ behalf.

Of course, you never want your customers to be upset. However, when it happens you have an opportunity to deliver service that they will remember.

You can turn a customer from the position of ranting about your company’s problems to raving about their great service by being:

  1. Available
  2. Human
  3. Helpful

You don’t have to change something every time someone complains. You don’t have to reveal confidential information. You won’t always have an answer that makes them happy.

However, you can listen to people (Marcel Lebrun calls it “answering the social phone“). You can explain things more clearly so people understand the issues. You can fix mistakes. And you can show people who reach out to you that you care about their business.

What about your organization? Do you just bask in the moments when it comes together, or do you also make the most of the moments when it doesn’t?

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Dave Fleet
EVP Digital at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.