What a Difference Your People Can Make

A few weeks ago, I was traveling on an airline I typically do not fly on due to the dominance of another in my home market.  It was a wonderful experience. Yes, I said flying was a wonderful experience. Why?

I finished my meeting in Jackson, MS early and arrived at the airport about 2.5 hours prior to my scheduled flight. However, there was a flight departing in 50 minutes. As I was checking in, I asked the agent, “Any chance I can stand by for the earlier flight?”She replied, “Well, why didn’t you say so.”  She clicked some keys; handed me a ticket with a big smile and said, “You’re on it”.

I quickly grabbed a sandwich, and arrived in Dallas for my connection back to Denver about 2 hours prior to my scheduled flight. There was an earlier flight in another concourse so I took a chance. 

I arrived at the gate as they had loaded the last passengers on. Again, I stated that I had hoped to get on the earlier flight. (But, because I was late and it was a long flight, I did not want a center seat. I was willing to wait). Again, with the clicking of the keys, the attendant handed me a ticket and said, with a smile, “The plane is not full, enjoy your flight.”

It gets better! So now, I am the last passenger on the plane. The overhead bins are full. I hand my bag to the attendant and say we probably need to check this. She opens the crews closet and say’s, “If it fits here you can stow it.” It fit!  I arrived home 2.5 hours early and was able to have dinner with my wife. I enjoyed the experience of flying hassle free.

I share this story because it is in how our employees interact with our customers (passengers in this case) that make a difference in how we feel about the transaction. If our agents are surly and rule bound, our passengers know it. If our agents smile and use their judgment to give the passenger the best experience possible, with the resources available, our passengers know it.

Based on the way your people interact with the customer, where do you think the customer will go for the next transaction? Have you observed your employees in a customer transaction? Would you come back?


One Comment:

  1. John, You are so right. The front line in any organization faces the public and they are the real face of the company. While some people are naturally upbeat (while others are naturally surly) the truth is that most employees take their cues from how their manager treats them. And that manager gets his cues from how his boss treats him.

    And so it goes.

    Examples of excellent customer service like this are a rarity in this day and age. And the lilnk goes directly back to the top management.

    I wish more CEO’s realized this.

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