by Kevin Smith, Publisher, TEAM Resources
On a recent trip to a credit union event, I was actually surprised by an airline customer service effort that was positive. (I know, right?) It wasn’t a big thing, but it was enough to make me notice and jot a note. The airlines aren’t getting a lot of good press these days for their customer service. And I’ve certainly gotten my share of “meh” service over the last couple of years.
For example, last spring I got to fly over my destination … twice … over an eight-hour period … without actually getting to land there because of weather. So, I never actually got to where I needed to go. I missed the event. But I also didn’t get the miles towards my loyalty program status, presumably because I never landed there. There’s not much the airline can do about weather issues, but I did feel doubly disappointed when I didn’t even get credit for my own efforts. Jeez.
Ok, moving on to the better story. (I can’t seem to let the miles thing go.)
While on the first leg of my flight, the attendant came around to everyone who was making a connection, confirmed the times, informed us of the gate we were arriving at, AND was able to tell me the gate that I would be going to to make my connection. That’s the first (and still only) time I’ve had that happen. I asked the attendant if this was a new service and she indicated that they try to do it when they can, if they have time. That was a great service, very helpful, particularly if you have a tight connection.
My question to you is this: Does this fit the category of “above and beyond” service? Or, is this what we should be expecting given our access to information?
Now, I can’t help but pay attention to the several flights I’ve had since where this doesn’t happen. Now that I know they CAN, I keep waiting for them TO provide this.
In an age where we only expect from airlines those things that they are taking away (legroom, carry-on space, food, dignity), versus what they are adding to our experience of traveling, my expectations are clearly lowered. But the customized economy and the digital age have changed the expectations of normal. How/Where can/will you take advantage of this dynamic for the better of your members?