Good communication and standout customer service are essential for building trust with your DMC partner — and are what quality DMC partners are trusted to deliver.

Plenty of life lessons are illustrated in my recently published book “And Then… Networking Lessons from an Extraordinary Life Still in Progress.” A few personal stories I’d like to share are below.

Good communication is the bridge between confusion and clarity

One time at a great Sunday brunch in New York when I was a child (I’m the baby of five), my mom ordered five Roy Rogers — a kiddie cocktail named after the famous TV cowboy, made with fruit juice, cola and topped with an always-important maraschino cherry.

A few minutes after mom ordered, the waiter bought over five colorful drinks. We all took big sips, screwed up our faces and said, “Mom, these drinks taste funny!”

She tasted one and immediately knew what had happened. The waiter got confused and instead of bringing us five Roy Rogers, he brought five Rob Roys! (Basically whiskey and vermouth) This was a big MISCOMMUNICATION!

So what’s the DMC tie-in? Your DMC partners will always strive to deliver the best communication possible. Some words have different meanings in different parts of the world — or simply don’t translate correctly to staff — so it’s best to have your DMC partner review each aspect of your program in advance so there are no surprises (including unexpected drinks).

Even better, strong communication helps your DMC exceed expectations before a program even begins.

Good customer service is also a must

A DMC will also always look to give you the BEST possible customer service.

Years ago, I had an issue with my bank and called them to go over a few things that had been upsetting me and that I wanted changed. A young gal answered the phone, I shared my concerns, and she reiterated them back to me.

Several hours later, she called me back and explained the exact fixes she’d made in response to my call. I thanked her for her exemplary service and asked to speak to her boss. She transferred me and I said to him, “I have to tell you that Julie is amazing. She went above and beyond to help me. She will certainly be moving up your corporate ladder quickly.”

He laughed and when I asked what was so funny, he replied, “This is her second day and you are my third call telling me this!”

WOW. I knew she was a winner right out of the gate.

Sometimes things don’t go so perfectly, but it’s how you handle it that makes all the difference — whether you’re a bank, or a DMC. In fact, DMCs know exactly what suppliers and vendors in their destination offer this level of customer service.

Something DMCs often must contend with, for example (and after sharing this at a client lunch last week, I understand planners do as well) is selecting a restaurant for client dinners.

Many of us can relate to this scenario: a company president swears they know “the best restaurant in town” and LOVE IT. They tell their meeting planner they want to hold a corporate gala dinner at the same restaurant.

BUT we know from experience THAT particular restaurant doesn’t need group business and will not treat your group the way you want or expect. We beg the client to select from other wonderful restaurants we know cater to groups and do it well, but the client insists. Then the service is bad and they are disappointed.

Because our DMC partners operate IN their destinations, they know what restaurants deliver the best customer service. We are on your team and want your group to have the best possible experience.

A DMC will always strive to give you clear communication and customer service. We only want to work with partners that offer us their best and in turn will offer you, their best.