How to shoot yourself in the foot with customers — in one easy step.


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Don’t pretend you care — or a customer may call your bluff. Let me illustrate.

I recently booked a reservation at a spendy and apparently well-regarded hotel, located in a major American city and boasting a complete concierge staff. In other words, a hotel that should be up to any challenge a guest could throw at it.

I had no plans to throw any particular challenges their way. But then I received a pre-arrival email from the GM inviting incoming guests to “write back to me with any requests you may have — even attach a photo of something special to you that you’d like us to provide on your visit.”

I thought this was lovely — fantastic, really. And I replied with a simple–simple!–request.

Nobody answered.

I tried again. Again, not a word.

On my third try, I got a reply (this is now well into the second day of effort on my part).

“No, we do not carry that” was the single, less-than-a-sentence reply.


Fine. I don’t mind brown-bagging it, but why pretend otherwise?

When you’re in business and you claim to care/to be willing to go the extra mile/to customize, you’d better mean it. Or you’re shooting yourself in the foot, Maxwell Smart.

© 2012 Micah Solomon, author of High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Micah Solomon
Micah Solomon is a customer service consultant and trainer who works with companies to transform their level of customer service and customer experience. The author of five books, his expertise has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, NBC and ABC television programming, and elsewhere. "Micah Solomon conveys an up-to-the minute and deeply practical take on customer service, business success, and the twin importance of people and technology." –Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder.


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