On my recent travels I was fortunate to have gone trekking in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal with my brother. During our stay, there was news of a Maoist strike planned for Kathmandu city. This threat ended our trekking tour prematurely – as we were forced to drive into Kathmandu a day early.
Now the trekking tour manager informed us that he would make up for the lost night and dinner included in our package. So he offered to take us on some excursions around Kathmandu the next day, as the Maoist strike was later canceled!
He never showed up the next day. And why would he? He already had our money. Whats it to him? A whole lot. The fact that I didn’t get full value for my money is not what most bothered me, but the fact that this guy lost any goodwill I’d have of spreading word about his company to my family and friends.
All he had to do was offer something, anything to make me feel he cared about my experience. Just some effort to appease the customer on his part would have helped his company far more long term, then this short term gain.
This post isn’t to persuade others not to travel Nepal. It’s an awesome, outer worldly experience from the modern bustle of North America. Walking around buildings, temples that are thousands of years old is an experience you can’t quantify.
However, if someones asking me about trekking tours in Nepal, I will say it was a decent experience. It could have been an awesome experience, but it was just okay because of this encounter. Whether this trekking company manager realizes it or not, he also represent Nepal tourism to me, my first impression. I will be more cautious agreeing to a tour next time I visit Nepal. But others who encounter this kind of service might never return to Nepal!
Whats the point?
The best kind of marketing is actually giving a damn. Make your customers experience with you a positive one. Something worth remembering. You want them to leave your business being an happy, enthusiastic, walking spokesperson for your company. Focus on this far outweighs all the thousands some companies spend on marketing brochures explaining all there nifty products and services. Listen, have some empathy and you might win a customer for life.