Four Things Dave Grohl Can Teach You About Customer Service


So you think your business has good customer service?

Do you serve your customers as well as Dave Grohl serves his?

Last month in Sweden, while playing the band’s 1997 hit “Monkey Wrench”, Foo Fighters leader Dave Grohl fell off the stage and broke his leg. It wasn’t a small break. Dave seriously smashed up his leg!

grohl xray

There was no question that Dave was going to have to get medical attention, and quickly. But there were tens of thousands of Foo Fighters fans who had paid good money to see their favorite band, and Dave wasn’t going to let them down. So he asked drummer Taylor Hawkins, an incredibly talented musician in his own right, to fill in while Dave got his leg looked at. Dave picked up the microphone as he lay in agony and spoke to the crowd…

Hey, ladies and gentlemen. I love you, but I think I just broke my leg. I really broke my leg. Right now, I’m gonna go to the hospital. 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. I’m so sorry.

And that’s exactly what happened.

An hour later, Dave Grohl was wheeled onto the stage in a wheelchair with his leg in a cast, and he picked up his guitar and performed the Queen/Bowie classic “Under Pressure” as a duet with Hawkins behind the drums.

The fans who were in Gothenburg, Sweden that night saw a performance they will never forget. Not a single fan, I guarantee you, went home unhappy. And yet the main attraction, Dave Grohl, wasn’t there for much of the show.

Amazing! And this is from the guy who once stopped the show to pour a beer for a thirsty fan in the front row!

Here are four quick and powerful Dave Grohl lessons in customer service:

1. The customer matters most. Your personal pain and suffering don’t matter to them. They paid for an experience, and they deserve to get that experience and then some.

2. There is always a solution. Even in the worst of circumstances, there is always a way to make it right for the customer. Don’t stop until you’ve found it.

3. How you overcome obstacles will define you. Another flawless concert doesn’t make headlines around the world. Your customers will remember you for how you handled their situation when things didn’t go right, not for the ordinary transactions that go on without a glitch.

4. Customer service is teamwork. If Dave Grohl isn’t able to ask his extremely talented and capable drummer to fill in for him, he cannot leave for the hospital without cancelling the show. Because Dave Grohl has created a team, he can leave and know that the show is in good hands.

So how did Dave Grohl finish the show that night? He very appropriately sang “Best Of You” from his wheelchair, screaming the lyrics “I’ll never give in or refuse” with even more meaning.

SIMILAR: Dave Grohl on how to build a 360-degree brand.

If you want to put the lessons of rock legends to work to build a stronger and more profitable brand, click here to order Brand Like A Rock Star with just one click. You’ll learn what U2, AC/DC, Springsteen, Dylan, Marley, Buffett, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Kiss, and Foo Fighters did to create passionate fans and incredible brands.

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How To Win Customers For Life


Click here to instantly order your copy of Brand Like A Rock Star in paperback or Kindle right now, and start making your brand stronger and more profitable using the core marketing strategies of bands like AC/DC, U2, Grateful Dead, Jimmy Buffett, Lady Gaga, and Bob Marley.

A few weeks ago, at a concert in New Orleans, Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters does what he does every night. He wins over fans one at a time.

You see, there was a fan at the show who had a problem. Halfway through the concert, his beer was empty. You can’t give up a spot in the front row to shove your way back to the beer vendors, so this fan was stuck beerless.

Dave, seeing this, took action. Between songs, as thousands of fans cheered him on, Dave Grohl took a beer from his personal stash on the stage, reached into the audience, and refilled the guys beer!

Not only did Dave make a fan-for-life out of that thirsty dude, but he gave a stadium full of people a “did you see that?” moment to tell their friends about. Twitter and Facebook went wild with posts about Dave Grohl refilling a fan’s beer.

Three key lessons in gaining customers-for-life from Dave Grohl:

1. Be real. When you are real, people connect with you. Be human. Be a friend. Friends refill friends beers. What do you do, in business, that turns your company into a friend? What is your company’s equivalent of filling up a fan’s empty glass of beer?

2. Be remarkable. If you want people to talk about your company, do something that they will want to share with others. Dave did something remarkable, and people remarked. So if you want similar word-of-mouth exposure, do something remarkable too. Don’t be unremarkable and expect people to talk about you.

3. Be generous. You have to give to get. Dave Grohl gave up a beer (small price) and stage time (possibly a larger price) in order to get a fan-for-life and worldwide media attention. Smart businesses today give something, like advice or knowledge or guidance, in order to win fans-for-life. Know what you have to give, and give it.

Notice that all three of these points contradict with traditional business practice.

“Be real? Forget it. Our company must project a perfect and flawless image. Don’t you know that Dave Grohl could have been sued if that fan was under 21 or if that fan got drunk at the show and killed someone driving home?”

“Be remarkable? We sell quality chairs at quality prices, and we won’t be undersold. Isn’t that remarkable?”

“Be generous. Hah! Do you know how much a quality chair costs these days? I’m not cutting into profit margins so that some classroom in Haiti has new chairs.”

Funny, but sad and true. I encounter that kind of thinking all the time.

Be real, be remarkable, and be generous. You’ll be amazed at what happens when you do.


If you’re a believer, please take a second to share this post with like-minded friends in business, marketing, advertising, and branding.

Connect with me on Facebook or let’s talk on Twitter. I’d love to connect and explore the relationship between rock ‘n’ roll and building legendary brands.

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Seven Things Your Business Can Learn From Rock Stars


They fill stadiums with screaming fans.
They make millions of dollars.
They are synonymous with excellence.

Rock stars.

The premise of the new book Brand Like A Rock Star is that business can learn a tremendous amount from the experiences of the legends of rock. The book deals with specific bands, specific brands, and provides specific advice to apply to your business in actionable ways.

But from a big picture perspective, what can the average business learn from the rock star? Why does the business/rock star relationship make sense?

Here are seven things you and your business can learn from rock stars.

1. Do what you love. If you do what you love to do, you’ll do it more passionately than anyone else. And if you do something with passion, the odds of doing it successfully go up infinitely. Rock stars love to rock. That’s why Mick Jagger is still singing. Do what you love.

2. Be larger than life. There’s no excitement in average. Nobody notices the business that looks and sounds like every other business. Foo Fighters is a stupid name, but unforgettable. Same with Red Hot Chili Peppers and Hootie & The Blowfish and Barenaked Ladies for that matter. Go the distance. Stand out from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to be larger than life.

3. Screw being better, just be different. Bands like the Grateful Dead and KISS weren’t at what they did, they were the only bands who did what they did. If you do something totally unique, there’s nobody to compare you to. There will always be someone better than you, but there is nobody exactly like you. Celebrate that. Be different.

4. Practice really hard. The Beatles played Hamburg for months at a time perfecting their craft. Metallica played every dive bar on the west coast before they made it big. You just don’t get to the top without a lot of practice. The same applies to business. Whatever you decide to do, perfect it. Practice really hard.

5. Find a producer. Great bands had great producers, engineers, managers, and record labels. You need people like that to see your work from the outside. Business owners are like bands, they see themselves from the inside. That’s the worst view in the world. You need a George Martin, just like The Beatles did. Get outside advice. Find a producer who isn’t afraid to tell you when you suck.

6. Take it easy. Being an up-and-comer isn’t a picnic, but real rock stars get first-class flights, penthouse hotel suites, and backstage buffets. There’s plenty of down time for true rock stars. Lenny Kravitz has a place in Bahamas. Eric Clapton kicks back in Antigua. Great business leaders know when to relax and rejuvenate their spirits. Minds that relax are minds that are open to learning and growth. Find the time to take it easy now and then.

7. Work with your friends. Eric Clapton played guitar on a Phil Collins song. Mick Jagger contributed background vocals on a Carly Simon song. Johnny Cash did the lead vocals for a U2 song. When you work with friends, you not only benefit from their contribution but you also learn from them and develop new skills. Hire great people that you love to work with and let them help you shine. Avoid unhappy people who bring you down, and work with your friends instead.

Take these seven lessons from the legends of rock to heart, and watch your business rise to the top of the charts.

Brand Like A Rock Star is now available via Amazon. You can have your copy within 24 hours! I can’t wait to hear what you think of it! It arrives at retail on October 1.

I’d love to speak directly to your company or conference about building a powerful brand using the lessons learned by rock’s legends. Contact me directly for details.

Upcoming Brand Like A Rock Star events:
Tuesday, September 27 – Calgary, AB
Wednesday, September 28 – Red Deer, AB (morning)
Wednesday, September 28 – Drumheller, AB (afternoon)
Thursday, September 29 – Edmonton, AB
Friday, October 7 – Las Vegas, NV at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – BOOK LAUNCH EVENT!

Monday, October 17 – Moncton, NB
Thursday, October 20 – Charlottetown, PEI (Chamber of Commerce Biz2Biz Expo)
Friday, November 4 – Anchorage, AK (Alaska Broadcasters Association Convention)
Wednesday, November 23 – Winnipeg, MB
Thursday, December 15 – Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

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Foo Fighters: Everything Is Part Of Your Brand


Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters have a reputation as a fun-loving and irreverent band, seldom taking themselves too seriously.

Their unusual name is taken from the name given to UFO’s spotted by Allied fighters in World War II. Dave loves to make jokes on stage. The band does a triangle solo to demonstrate the rock ‘n’ roll power of the triangle.

So Foo Fighters fans wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the band as a 52-page rider done up like a coloring book. The coloring book rider goes out to everyone who hires the band to play a concert.

What branding relevance is there to this?

They could have easily written a rider in legalese just like every other band does. But they didn’t, because Foo Fighters aren’t every other band. They are different, and they use every opportunity they can to prove it. A coloring book rider reflects that difference.

Brands are not logos, color schemes, or positioning statements. Brands are emotions. Brands are experienced, not proclaimed. And they are experienced at every level, not just in a corporate boardroom and not simply in your advertising.

Ever read the manifesto on the side of your drink cup at Chipotle?

 Have a look at the windshield of the Jeep Wrangler. The first image has a sillhouette of the iconic Jeep grill above the mirror. The second image is another sillhouette, this one of a Jeep climbing rocks. It is extremely tiny, hidden in the bottom corner of the windshield of the new 2012 Jeep Wrangler.

 Foo Fighters use their cool concert rider. Chipotle uses cups. Jeep uses the windshield.

Do you use every aspect of your brand to accurately reflect your unique identity?


Chipotle, Foo Fighters, Jeep, Uncategorized 527 Comments