I am about to prove that everything, literally everything, that you do in your business, for your business or to your business is under scrutiny all time. I suspect you all know that already. To what degree is this impacting your business is the thing you need to consider. In this day and age it is possible for people to have a good or bad experience with you and your business then almost instantaneously rave about your service or go stark raving mad about the lack thereof. That’s no different than ever before. What is different is how many people now can hear their gripes through the internet and how quickly it can happen.
I am living this right now. I am flying to Las Vegas for PubCon on US Airways and my original flight had ‘mechanical’ problems. Red flag number one. The second one was when they paged Passenger Hussein over the loudspeaker. That one is a whole other issue for sure but still enough to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. OK, back to the story. I had a connecting flight through Philadelphia (sorry Eagle fans but the Giants are just a better team this year ) which was certainly in jeopardy due to this delay.
I am not a savvy traveler. I don’t do much of it presently. I did, however, put 2 and 2 together and got “I will miss my flight in Philly and never get to Vegas”. Based on that, I went o the counter and explained my situation. Here’s where the rubber meets the road for you business folks. I expected something difficult but instead I was pleasantly surprised. The flight attendant / US Airways rep that helped me was calm, cool and collected. She punched a few buttons at her terminal and, like that, I was booked to now fly through Charlotte. I would get to Vegas just an hour or so later and I am now relieved.
As I type this Orbitz has called me saying that my original flight would only be delayed 25 minutes and would not affect my plans. Well, after their asked for passenger Hussein (which honestly scared me, sorry) there was another announcement saying that the plane for my original flight had a hydraulic leak that the techs could not locate and they weren’t sure when it would leave. Further they said that they had everyone slated for Philly to be on their flight that would leave here AFTER my connection had left for Vegas.
Long story short. I had a potential issue that was handled coolly and professionally by a US Airways employee. I am now writing about that experience just a few minutes after experiencing it. Now, will everyone do this with every business interaction they have? No……but they could and one time could enough to make your business hurt. So make sure you are monitoring your online reputation and that you are doing whatever you can to make sure the reports are good ones like mine today. Otherwise, you may lose customers that, in this economic climate, could be tragic.
SMB Takeaway: Your reputation is being molded with every transaction you make. Your customers and prospects can make or break your online reputation at any time. Do whatever it takes to make this a good reputation day for your biz like US Airways did.
Thanks and have a great day!