I am fresh off a vacation and couldn’t help but notice some things the hospitality industry does well – things that PR agencies and other professional services firms can adapt for providing superior client service (clients, listen up too!)
Give a client something for nothing. Well, not nothing, of course. But the way the travel industry showers you with free cocktails and gourmet sampling opportunities is a good model for providing clients with an unanticipated extra once in a while. It’s a way to let them know that you value the relationship enough to go above and beyond.
Provide proactive customer service. Take a page from the hospitality industry and the late NYC Mayor Koch and solicit feedback on the job you’re doing as you’re doing it. Before it ever reaches the equivalent of a bad Yelp or TripAdvisor posting, you can root out any negatives proactively and work to solve ASAP.
Teach your clients something they don’t know. OK, not everyone wants to learn to line dance or fold a cutesy towel animal, but it’s offered, and it’s thoughtful. Perhaps you can take your client through some social media lessons or provide a primer on the new media landscape. Don’t give away all your trade secrets, but share in a way that benefits the relationship.
Make it easy to work together. You know how much a traveler appreciates the words, “no problem”? You want to be that PR agency! Within reason, of course, handle all requests with a positive attitude and make problems go away, or, to the greatest of your ability, not happen at all.
Always be thinking about the future. Savvy travel marketers are selling you your next trip before you’ve finished your current one. Smart PR pros should do the same by thinking of ways to extend the existing relationship and build on current accomplishments.