Being There When it Counts
I was sitting at the gate. My plane was set to board in five minutes, or so the announcement said. Then my phone rang. The news was not good—a family health emergency—I needed to go home. I don’t usually check my bag for a three-day trip, but I had not reduced the contents of my purse sufficiently enough to stuff it inside my briefcase. So instead of carrying on three pieces, I dutifully handed my suitcase over at the terminal. “Now how do I get it back,” I asked myself.
The Delta agent smiled at me when I approached the counter. I told her my problem and asked what the options were. “I’m so sorry this has happened,” she said. “This must be very stressful for you. Let me see what I can do.” She tried to get my bag off the plane, but as she handed me back my luggage tag, she regretfully said she couldn’t.
Just another “uh-oh” moment dealing with an airline, right? Wrong!
She told me to wait a minute and documented that I had been at the gate ready to board when I was informed of an emergency and couldn’t board. Then, she said that under the circumstances she didn’t want me to have to drive back to the airport to pick up my bag. And just like that, she arranged to have my bag shipped to my home. Fifteen hours later I had an email from “whereismysuitcase.com,” and twenty-four hours later my bag was personally delivered to my foyer! I was amazed. I was grateful. I felt special.
This is customer care at its best. It is something that professional services providers should always keep in mind however we serve people. Conventional wisdom tells us that bad news travels ten times faster than good news, but this type of above and beyond response rocked my world, and I have, in the last six days, told everyone about it who will listen.
Day-to-day we do everything we can to serve our clients. We give them what they need and serve as partners to advance their business goals. Still, what we do during those “uh-oh” moments will stick in their minds, show them what we are made of and cultivate their loyalty. If we are lucky, they appreciate it and tell their friends.
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