After a really poor customer experience with Hertz, I was ready to head home – preferably with as few issues as possible. We left on time out of Rochester, NY and when I got to Atlanta I had 30 minutes to make my connection, and I did! I was also thrilled to find out I got upgraded, so I boarded my flight and settled in for a hopefully uneventful flight home. Never fail, we ended up getting a weather delay after we all had boarded the plane.
What made this flight different than many other I have been on was the attitude and professionalism of Captain Randy Sage and his team. So much so, that when Delta sent me a questionnaire about my experience I wrote the following:
“The pilot on this flight – Randy Sage – was outstanding. Before we even encountered the delay he came out and introduced himself and his crew. He told us he knew we had choices and that he appreciated us choosing to fly with him. He also said if we had any issues during the flight to put them in writing and he personally would make sure they got into the right hands.”
A small gesture that had a big impact – it’s always nice to know that your business is appreciated. The flight attendants did a great job taking care of us as well, and the entire crew made me almost forget we had a delay. In these days of customer service becoming almost extinct, it’s great to know that there are still a few of us out there that still remember without satisfied customers we are out of business. Letting your customers know how much you appreciate them assures you of having them as customers for life.
As a Lifestylist a lot of my time is spent on the road, and that leads me to see some of the best and worst examples of customer service. This week I’ve been in Rochester, NY announcing the winners in the Lifestylist Designed @home Builders YMCA Dream Home. @home Builders is one of my favorite examples of customer service – to have the opportunity to own one of their homes is a wonderful experience you’ll be sharing with all of your friends.
When I arrived in Rochester and headed to the Hertz Rental counter I was thrilled – there were three agents behond the counter and no line so I thought I’d be able to get in and out quickly. Wishful thinking – they had no record of my reservation and of course this was the one time I didn’t print it out. But since I have a “Gold” membership in their elite program I figured we would still be fine, but no such luck. Even though I provided Kim with my number she at first said there weer no cars available, then there were only SUVs that would be over $100/day. So out of curiosity I called and was able to get a reservation for $59.00 a day, gave Kim the phone, and after she hung up informed me that was for Rochester, MN not NY. It became obvious that none of the three had any interest in helping me or renting a car to me so I wnet down to Avis where they had better rates, better cars and better attitudes.
If someone had made an honest effort to help me this post would be praising Hertz instead of expressing my unhappiness. But obviously the customer and attracting and keeping a customer for life was something that wasn’t important to this team. When you think about how much Hertz had invested in having me as a loyal customer and keeping my business over the years, those disinterested agenst probably cost Hertz over $10,000 in marketing costs and potential business.
But wait! It gets better! When I went out to get my beautiful new Avis car I glanced over to the Hertz aisles, and EVERY spot had a car in it. I arrived on a Tuesday so I had a hard time believing they were going to have over 100 people pick up cars in Rochester, NY on a Tuesday evening.
The Social Media Lifestylist part of my business is about sharing experiences, and it has become very easy for anyone to share their thoughts and comments in seconds as a Tweet, on Facebook or in a blog. If for no other reason this should keep companies on their toes because they are being talked about. I thought it was really interesting that Hertz doesn’t have a Facebook page – either they aren’t interested in sharing with their customers or they aren’t interested in what their customers have to say.
Who’s the Boss? Your customers or potential customers are! If they aren’t treated well or if they don’t feel appreciated there are lots of other companies that will welcome them with open arms. We all have choices, and now more than ever we need to provide an experience that will have customers choosing us over the competition.
Lifestylist.tv had the wonderful opportunity to catch up with Jim Clayton at the recent MHI Congress and Expo. Mr Clayton is the founder of Clayton Homes and author of the Book “Jim Clayton: First a Dream”. In the interview, he shared with us how you can download a pdf copy of his book for free and learn how he sold his company to Warren Buffett. This is an opportunity to get priceless information from one of the best business owners in the country.
As a Lifestylist® I loved his stories in the book about living in a factory built home and why this is such a great choice.
These days I put a lot more thought behind where I spend my very hard earned dollars. I’m so tired of shopping at places where they make you feel like you should be thanking them for letting you spend your money there, or better yet they don’t acknowledge you at all. As a Lifestylist® ,my mantra is Your Life. Your Style Your Way. It should be about you, the consumer not me. Today I had a wonderful experience at a store, and I wanted to share some of what they are doing and why I’ll be going back because of that experience.
Attitude starts at the top, and when I went to the Summer Soiree today at the Dallas 7 For All Mankind, I could tell they had great management. From the manager (who was an absolute delight) to the sales team, they seemed excited to be there and to have me visit their store. I love the fact that they had a sign back by the dressing rooms that stated “Collaboration – No one becomes the best alone” – so true! Because it was a special event, they had music, libations, and a photographer, and when someone got their picture taken they were handed a card that said “You Have Been Spotted!”
Photos taken by Lisa Stewart Photography of the event were being immediately downloaded and added to an album on the 7 For All Mankind Facebook page. You were then invited to tag the photo of you so you could share it with your friends. They also had fantastic goodie bags that included fun summer products that had a retail value of more than what the minimum was you needed to spend to receive one. I saw very few people leaving the store without one.
They also let me know that by “liking” their Facebook page or following them on Twitter you get access to lots of special events and savings. As I customer I love getting rewarded for my loyalty, and it keeps me going back to the stores that appreciate that loyalty.
Oh – and did I mention how amazing their jeans are? They truly are the best fitting jeans in the world!
I can’t believe it’s been almost 10 years since I received the trademark registration of the term Lifestylist! I had been using the term for quite awhile as the definition of what I do, then a wonderful mentor recommended that I trademark the term to protect it. Wonderful advice, and it has been a decision that I have never regretted.
I bought my first domain names when we were still using dial up connections and no one had a clue what to do with a name after you bought it. Again I have been very fortunate to have great advisers around me and because of them I own some very powerful domain names. As Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, YouTube and LinkedIn began to become important, I discovered social media. Most of my clients are on shoestring budgets, so introducing them to the power of social media and how it can help them develop their brands and businesses was a great way to help them stretch their marketing dollars.
So what is a Social Media Lifestylist? That would be me! Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber has been recognized as the go-to person for developing social media programs that will produce results. Her Lifestylist.TV Channel features interviews with lifestyle issues and concerns including puppy mills and the groups dedicated to closing them down, home builders, fund raising homes, and some amazing interviews yet to come! You can also find us at: www.socialmedialifestylist.com. www.socialmedialifestylist.net, and www.socialmedialifestylist.info. This Lifestylist® is against buying designer dogs and is all about rescue, so if you read something else it’s incorrect.
The first advice I always give to my clients is to be sure and purchase any domain names that might have to do with your brand, and this is why we have the Social Media Lifestylist domains.
We also believe in giving back to the communities we love and we handle the social media for the USA Film Festival, HomeAid / Home Builders Care Dallas, Chef Joanne Bondy, Photographer Lisa Stewart and Jack’s Backyard. Future projects include Legal Honesty and some others we can’t talk about yet 🙂
So if you are looking for a Social Media Lifestylist® to make your brand come alive, accept no imitations – it’s a decision you won’t regret.
What an amazing week! Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber was able to be part of a very important animal rescue in Kaufman County, Texas that was planned and executed by Animal Rescue Corps. It’s one thing to hear about puppy mills and the horrible conditions these poor animals have to live in, but it’s another to actually be able to see it for yourself. The animals arrive terrified and filthy -many of them have never actually stood on solid ground before because they are kept in wire cages and are surrounded with urine and feces – even the ones with babies. After a few short days of love and attention they leave having hope, and there is no better feeling in the world!
We were able to interview Scotland Haisley – the leader of this amazing organization and find out how others can get involved, especially kids. Take a look at our interview, then go to www.animalrescuecorps.org and become a part of the solution! You can also get up to the minute information by “liking” them on Facebook.
These rescues are very expensive to make happen, and without very needed funds for this group we won’t be able to end the suffering. I’m looking forward to the next rescue and being able to share the results here!
Thanks to Kristina Bowman for the photography of this amazing rescue.