Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl won a ton of new fans over the weekend when he returned to the stage after breaking his leg during a performance in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Many are calling Grohl's return as the ultimate rock star move.
But it's actually something much different -- it's the ultimate lesson in how to provide world-class customer service, no matter what the circumstances.
For those who haven't been following the story, here's what happened:
On Friday night, Grohl unexpectedly fell off the edge of the state early in the Foo Fighters' set in Gothenburg -- a fall that snapped a bone in his leg.
At that point, Grohl had every reason to tell the paying crowd that they had to go home and that the band would schedule a make-up show.
Instead, he had the presence of mind to know that canceling and rescheduling would be a huge disappointment to a throng of fans that had paid good money to watch the Foo Fighters perform.
"Right now, ladies and gentlemen, I'm gonna go to the hospital," he announced before being taken off the stage. "I'm gonna fix my leg. But then I'm gonna come back, and we're gonna play for you again! I'm so sorry!"
While Grohl was getting treatment, his band mates improvised and performed a set of cover songs.
A short time later, he returned to the stage. With his leg in a cast and with medical personnel at his side, he and his band performed for another two-and-a-half hours.
The fans who were there were no doubt treated to a performance they would never forget. And Grohl -- already a huge star due to his amazing career as both the drummer for Nirvana and the lead singer/guitarist for the Foo Fighters -- has been lionized for his persistence and grit following a painful injury.
But what strikes me is his professionalism and the empathy he showed for his audience.
Grohl might have dropped out of high school to pursue his music career, but it's clear that he understands business and customer service as well as the most seasoned MBA.
Let's look at how he handled this situation -- and how you can apply his lessons to what you do in your everyday work:
- He communicated clearly -- Even while he was experiencing great pain, he explained in very real terms what had happened and what was going to happen next.
- He showed empathy -- Grohl actually apologized to the crowd before being taken away for treatment. He had literally broken his leg for them, but he still had the presence of mind to put himself in their shoes.
- He followed through ... and then some -- Not only did he return to the stage, he led the band through a two-and-a-half-hour set. Most headline bands don't even come close to performing for that long at full strength.
As a result, he has helped generate a ton of good will -- not only with the fans who were fortunate enough to be there that night, but for those who might consider coming to a future concert.
The message: This guy will literally break a leg to make sure I get my money's worth.
Would your customers or donors say the same thing about you?