Your employees can make or break your marketing

In previous posts, we’ve discussed why customer service is critical to a business’ success.Today, I’d like to tell you a story of how one man changed my day for the better, made me very likely to use his company again, and helped himself in the process.

After a cancelled flight through Delta, I climbed on the Enterprise Rent-a-Car shuttle in Detroit, Michigan with a pretty bad attitude. The driver jumped up to help me with  my bags and then introduced himself as the “Candyman,” which meant, he informed me, that he provided free candy to his passengers. He also told me the shuttle would take about 5 minutes and, since I was the only one on the shuttle, I could choose the music. I asked him to play what he’d like and we took off.

Over the next five minutes, candyman played loud jazz while singing and dancing as best as he could in this seat while driving safely. He also encouraged me to dance while I ate my mini peanut butter cups. I laughed, I danced, and we traded favorite music.

When we got to Enterprise, I  handed Candyman double the tip I normally give and thanked him for turning around my day.

From Flickr: vortistic

As a marketer, a couple  of things struck me as powerful about my 5 minute encounter with Candyman:

  • Employees, especially for a service business, make or break a business. Candyman left me feeling very good about using Enterprise and very likely to use them again, especially in Detroit (Note to Enterprise manager and marketers, I’d like to recommend Candyman for a raise!).
  • Candyman has a pretty standard job. He drives a van and gets tips, but he found a way to make himself stand out. Using marketing terms, he created a niche for himself. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this. In  Chicago, I once had a cab driver on a long drive give me a bunch of wind-up Christmas toys for the drive to brighten my day. In both cases, they got much bigger tips from me for going above and beyond. And, I’m guessing I’m not the only one to do so. That means additional income for them.
  • If you are creative, you can make almost any job fun.
  • Just 5 minutes with an employee significantly increased my positive impression of his company.

When I returned the rental car to Enterprise in Detroit, I only had one question for the guy coordinating the shuttles, “Is Candyman working today and, if so, can I wait for his shuttle?”

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