I hate to admit it, but I no longer expect superior service. It’s my way of avoiding inevitable disappointment. If I don’t expect it, I’m actually thrilled when I get it.
Case in point: I started this post at 37,000 feet on a packed flight from Fort Lauderdale to Washington, D.C., on United Airlines. Overall, the service was pretty good.
Being a pilot, I like United Airlines, because they usually let you listen to Air Traffic Control (ATC) on channel 9 of the audio entertainment. So I was excited when the captain announced it would be featured on our flight.
We began to taxi, and I tuned my headset to channel 9. Silence.
Soon, we took off. Still complete silence.
We began dodging some very ugly thunderstorms, which is when it’s really fun to listen to the radio exchange. Still nothing.
I eventually gave up and decided to relax, but my seat would not stay in a reclined position. It just swayed back and forth. I had no choice but to keep it locked in the upright position (lest I look like grandpa rocking on the back porch).
This got me thinking that if United was really committed to impeccable service, they would have standard practices to prevent such frustrations. They would have a clear process for checking “seat functionality” before every flight, and captains would have a standard protocol for when to patch in ATC.
I recently attended an excellent seminar about impeccability, led by Steve Dorfman, founder of Driven To Excel. He asked us to recall a time when we experienced impeccable service. After some thought, I remembered a morning more than 30 years ago when I was in the pool-repair business. I stopped for breakfast at Burger King, and on the way back to my van, I dropped my coffee and a perfectly good hash brown! It was a lousy start to my day.
Then I noticed a cashier running out of the restaurant with a cup of coffee in one hand and a hash brown in the other. She saw what happened, felt bad for me, and desperately wanted to catch me before I drove off. Her touching gesture made my day, and I still remember it 30 years later!
All businesses have the opportunity to step up their game and gain their own “impeccable advantage.” What’s yours?
You know the frustrations in your industry, and you can craft the solutions. Simply commit to addressing these issues and create processes for delivering impeccable service every time.
Here’s to your next impeccable customer experience!
P.S. Channel 9 came “live” about halfway through my trip, and this flying geek loved it!
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