288: Customer Service Matters

Real Estate Survival Guide
Real Estate Survival Guide
288: Customer Service Matters


Today I want to remind you that how you treat people is important to the success of your business—customer service matters. I’m going to share a story that happened last month when Podcast Movement was over, and I was headed home. I had a late check out from my hotel and I was just about to leave, when I received an alert that my connecting flight from Orlando to Nashville was canceled. I immediately started scrambling to figure out flights for the next day. It reminded me of the fiasco with Southwest Airlines during Christmastime when they delayed, canceled, or pushed about 2 million flights—that resulted in a hearing with the Senate Commerce Committee to discuss the breakdown. Southwest delayed, canceled, or adjusted my flights three different times on January 31st. When I called them the first time, on the 30th, and told them I didn’t think I’d be able to connect, they told me they didn’t have anything else that day but offered to switch me to a flight the next day. Thankfully I was able to stay an extra day at my hotel. I was on the phone talking to my friend Tim, who had dealt with the same thing with Southwest—trying to fly to Vegas for Christmas. He even ended up on CNN because of the debacle. He likens his feelings toward Southwest now as a type of ptsd. I think the lesson with the whole situation is that it only takes one bad experience to really ruin it for someone. That’s why I want you to hear that customer service matters. So, I was stuck in Orlando with my friend Justin Shank, who I’ve mentioned a few times. He runs a great podcast and mastermind groups with the Growth Now Movement and the Growth Now Summit. We were at Disney Springs grabbing dinner, and while I was sitting there, I got a text from Southwest that my trip had been canceled for the next day. Twenty minutes later, I got a text that they’d rescheduled me on something else, a flight that was going to Chicago where I would sit for a day and a half before heading to Philadelphia. I ended up canceling my flights with Southwest and to this day I’m still trying to get compensation for the trip I ended up taking on American Airlines. Customer service matters and to be honest, I don’t know that I’ll be able to fly with Southwest again. Your word matters, what you say matters. In December, the CEO of Southwest Airlines said, “We made mistakes. We will fix this. This won’t happen again.” So to see it happen to a good friend in December and then to have it happen to me in January…doesn’t seem like they’ve made changes. It makes me not trust them. I had a very bad experience with Southwest, but I want to contrast that with the amazing service I experienced at the Holiday Inn Orlando at SeaWorld. They did a great job. First of all, when I checked in on the 25th, I got in around noon and they got me into my room three hours early. When I found out my first flight was cancelled, they were able to keep me in the same room that night, and told me they would make it work out—however long I needed—when Southwest cancelled the rescheduled flight as well. They told me not to worry, that they would make it happen. I gained so much respect for them. They knew I was in a rough situation and was frustrated with the airlines. The fact that they were willing to be kind and gracious to me made a big impression. I felt cared for and valued by the hotel and felt like to Southwest, I didn’t matter. Not once did Southwest apologize for the extra hotel expenses, extra dining costs—I didn’t matter. I hope you take this cautionary tale and apply it to your real estate business. You want to give out great service—you want to care about and value people. If you make mistakes, like Southwest Airlines did, fix it. Customer service matters and mistakes that you don’t take care of—that news travels and those are the things people remember. Think about whether you are creating great customer service experiences with your clients. If you are making mistakes, are you fixing them, or just giving them lip service? I think the contrast of these experiences I had with Southwest and Holiday Inn can make us better Realtors. Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoyed this episode.


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Podcast edited by Kenny Carfagno.

Show notes and blog posts are created by Jennifer Harshman and RealtorEmails. John Schuchman is a licensed REALTOR® in Lancaster, PA, with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty and a part of the Andrew Welk Group. The opinions shared on this show represent the opinions & values of John Schuchman and do not necessarily represent the opinions & values of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty. The opinions & ideas shared in this podcast do not guarantee or promise any results of success to the listener.

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