In the Trenches: How to Treat the Media
This last week, we had someone sign up for our service who writes a blog about air travel. Often, people won't tell you when they're trying your service out in order to write about it, but in this case, he told us right away that was his plan. That, of course, left us with a question. Should we treat him differently?
For many, I imagine the temptation is there to provide an over the top experience in order to get a good review, but that makes no sense at all to me. Sure, the review will be awesome and glowing, but what does that mean for all the people who read that review and then try out the service?
Going above and beyond the norm means that you'll just end up setting expectations higher for anyone who read that review. Even though I think our normal level of service is pretty fantastic, adding in any sort of VIP treatment would only set the bar higher and set our future customers up for disappointment. I don't like that idea at all.
So, we treated him just as we would any other client. I didn't personally handle this trip but I let one of my other concierges do it, as I normally would. I'd be lying if I said I didn't double check a couple times more than usual to make sure that he was getting the service he paid for, but I never had to do anything out of the ordinary. It's rare that we have any sort of service failure, but I've talked about how that can happen on occasion on this blog. It's just the nature of a high-touch service business.
Fortunately, I had nothing to worry about on this trip and our concierge handled everything perfectly. It helped that the client's flights were right on time, and only a check-in glitch thanks to failed airline systems had us doing a little more legwork than usual.
Of course, we never know if the client experienced it the same way we did, but we'll find out in this case when the review comes out. Hopefully it highlights our usual good service and provides future clients something that they can count on when they sign up.
Brett Snyder is President and Chief Airline Dork of Cranky Concierge air travel assistance. Snyder previously worked for several airlines, including America West and United, before leaving to create a travel search site for PriceGrabber.com. Snyder did his undergrad at George Washington and earned his MBA from Stanford.