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Entrepreneurial Wisdom: Communication and Coveted Repeat Business

May 20, 2015

Business Advice for Women Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners


How important is personality in running a successful business? You might not think about that question often but the way you simply greet someone when you first meet them and communicate messages in public can set an instant and lasting impression of your business and alter its sales.

Last week my family flew out of Syracuse on a 5:45 a.m. flight to Florida. Thinking we had plenty of time to check in at 5 a.m. we approached the ticket counter. Without saying anything the woman we approached barked, “You are late and the gate has probably given your seats away. I’m not sure I can even process your ticket now. You better not plan on flying with us today.” Panic of a horrible kind overcame me as I saw my first vacation in over a year “fly” out the window. After running like a stampede of buffalo through the airport to get to the gate, the person there told our family we had “plenty of time to board and our seats were safe.” My sons said, “Why in the world would that lady treat us that way?” I had no answer.

Having no faith in this airline on our return trip, we arrived 2 hours early to be safe. At the boarding gate, the most wonderful employee thanked every single person by name as he swiped their airline ticket, “Thank you for flying with us today Tracy. We are so glad you are with us.” I looked at him and said, “Thank you for making this a much more enjoyable experience than the last time we flew.” He said, “Of course, that’s the only way I would want it.” Calm settled over me as I boarded the plane.

Today’s lesson is pretty apparent. One truly miserable employee negatively affected the beginning of an important vacation and one joyful employee positively affected the ending. The truth is the behavior of the first employee was so unprofessional we will never fly that airline again. One horrendous service interaction on the part of one woman lost business for an entire company over decades to come.

Today’s post is to remind you that you, your employees, or anyone else associated with your business is under scrutiny at all times when it comes to customers and coveted repeat business. If it has been awhile since you noticed, make sure your staff or associates are trained properly and communicate the mission, tone and personality of your company the right way every day in every single customer interaction.

Take time today to remind yourself and your staff the importance of your customers and communication style to ensure a positive, long lasting relationship for everyone involved with your company. Make sure all your staff have the right personalities for the job. Don’t lose a valued customer on one poor interaction.

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