When a client calls to book me for a dinner party or cooking class, I listen to them very closely and can tell within a few minutes whether I’m a fit. When I feel they’re looking for a service or type of dinner that I don’t provide (high end, molecular gastronomy, chef whites/hat, etc.), I then spend time providing them multiple referrals. Customer service to me is #1 – and that means taking time to help a client get the chef and experience they’re looking for, even if all I get out of it is the satisfaction of a happy caller.
The interesting thing is that often the client ends up booking me by the end of the conversation, because they’re so surprised and grateful that I’ve taken the time to help them find someone else. And those who don’t book me for that event, almost always call back to book me for another gig, another time.
I encourage others in business for themselves (regardless of what they do) to do the same, to think like Miracle on 34th Street. In the film, the Macy’s Department Store Santa would send customers to Gimbel’s for toys Macy’s didn’t carry. Angry at first, the store manager discovered that by referring customers to their competitor, Macy’s sales actually went up, not down.
People so appreciate when you go that extra mile to help them when they need it, that they remember that more and better than
It’s the Law of Economy and Karma – and very much in keeping with the spirit of the season.