Customer Service Wins = Marketing Wins
I’m sure I was the only happy camper in the car. The closer we got to the Sierra-at-Tahoe ski area, the more crowded it looked, and the more tension I could feel building from all sides. When finally directed to turn around and park on the access road without even getting close enough to see the mountain, the uncertainty grew and the irate questioning began:
“OMG, how far do we have to walk?”
“How are we going to carry everything?”
“Do we put our ski boots on now or at the lodge?”
“Do we have to walk all the way back here?”
“Can we go home?”
After parking and offering a few words like spoiled, grateful and deal with it, I found the nearest lot attendant, mentioned it was our first day there and asked about the logistics. “Welcome to Sierra (big smile)! That shuttle bus near your car will pick up and drop off every 15 minutes for the whole day, it’s a three-minute ride each way…and here’s a trail map since it’s your first day.”
I went back to the car full of answers, everyone deleted their angry social media posts in progress and we boarded the shuttle all smiles. This day had disaster written all over it but one, front line employee changed it simply by doing his job, and Sierra scored thousands of positive social media views for the effort. There’s simply no amount of advertising and PR that can generate the goodwill and word-of-mouth marketing that superb customer service experiences can, and no amount of advertising and PR that can overcome the effects of consistently poor customer service.
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