In many columns over the past year, it seems everyone has been trying to figure out how to do business in a post-COVID world. I have offered some of my thoughts; but in the end, we are all crystal-balling and hoping for the best. But today, I think I have a suggestion that will serve us all well as travel begins to open up once again—well, at least domestic travel.
Back in 1986, Robert Fulghum published a book called All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten. It’s a good book. Pick it up and give it a read if you want. (Here’s a link) The premise is that the simple rules we learned in kindergarten will carry us through life—hold hands when crossing the street, be nice to one another, etc. You know, the basics of being a decent human. And here is where the travel industry can take a lesson.
Go back to the basics. We do not know what tomorrow holds in terms of travel and COVID. And to be honest, none of us have any control over that, so we will have to play the hand we are dealt. So, just what are the basics?
Remember, people work like a river flows, following the path of least resistance. Don’t be a river! Aside from being decent humans, we simply need to put in some effort. It is not asking much because we only must be better than the next guy to win business. I think a phrase I once used was “suck less.”
What does any customer want?
- To be treated with courtesy
- To feel appreciated
- To have their questions answered honestly
- To have a friend on their side when things go awry
- To have someone hold their hand
See, just like kindergarten.
Master these basics and make basic customer appreciation and courtesy a tenet of your business plan moving forward and you will be ahead of those that are following the path of least resistance.