In the Trenches: Evolving With Our Clients
Our business here at Cranky Concierge continues to grow, and that brings all sorts of challenges with it. But we have to remember that our clients continue to grow as well. That creates challenges for them, and in some cases, we can help them tremendously.
The biggest "small business" client we have has been with us for a long time. Over the last couple years, however, the company has grown dramatically. This means more of their employees are doing a lot more travel.
Our basic model used to work well for them. We had one person monitoring their flights and all booking requests could be sent to a standard email address. But as they've grown, we've done our best to make our current model fit their needs. It just doesn't work all that well.
The challenge is that they don't always know who to contact. We have nonetheless been able to handle all their issues, but it requires us to do a lot of behind-the scenes work getting information to the right place and fixing problems on the fly. While it still works right now, it's inefficient, and things are going to fall through the cracks as they continue to grow.
Seeing the potential for trouble ahead, we huddled up and came up with a plan that we thought would work best. We're going to give them a single email address and then set up filtering behind the scenes. That way they never need to worry about who to contact. But this will only work if there's a protocol on how to use our service that everyone in the company follows.
I set up a call with our contact and explained our idea. She thought it was good, and we offered to put together a document explaining how to use our service that they can pass out to all new employees.
We're finalizing the document now and plan to put this into effect soon. It'll mean better service for them and easier management for us. Anything we can do to help our clients as they grow is a very good thing.
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.