More Customer Care

I’m sitting in the Indianapolis airport waiting on a flight to Dallas. It was supposed to leave at 1:50, but we found out at the gate that it isn’t leaving until 3:30. It’s too much work to go back thru security so I sit here with my partner waiting. I’m still observing the whole customer care process that goes on around me. I’ve finished my presentation, but it’s never too late to add a good story. Here are a couple:

I left my car with the Chrysler dealer while I’m gone. Winter is setting in and the driver’s seat heater isn’t working. Additionally, the driver’s side of the dome light isn’t working. I called ahead to let them know I was coming. I told them that they worked on both these things last year. Jeff said, “No problem. You’ll have to leave it with us.”

I arrive at Chrysler and tell them I called ahead and spoke with Jeff. The guy tells me to tell him the problem, so I tell him the same things I had told Jeff on the phone. He asks me who broke the light. I tell him they worked on it last. He humphs. Then, he walks me over to Jeff and introduces me while handing his notes to Jeff. Jeff turns to me and says, “Now tell me everything you just told him.” I just repeat the whole thing again (third time, twice with Jeff), including walking him over to the car and pointing out the problem with the light. I’m positive they won’t fix the problem. I even told Jeff as much. He didn’t write that part down.
So we arrive at the airport parking lot. As we approach the bus stop, a bus pulls up and opens the doors to let a passenger out. I yell into the open door for the driver to wait. He looks at me and drives away.

We get into the airport and order lunch at a Mexican restaurant. The woman taking orders has to ask the guy preparing orders how to say 17 in English.

Now my favorite part of air travel comes: the security check. I unpack my liquids, pockets, electronics, and remove my coat and shoes to get thru. One of the security guys meets me at the other side of the X-ray machine and tells me that he must inspect my shoes. I tell him he might need to hold his breath, and I repack my stuff as he goes about his test. Upon completion, he hands me y shoes and apologizes for the inconvenience. I was amazed, especially since he finished before I got done repacking so there really was no inconvenience. I got the best service from the place I expected the worst.

Good customer service comes from the heart. The security seemed genuinely apologetic for causing me an inconvenience. I read a story in the Indianapolis Business Journal where the writer comments on an argument between a grocery store cashier and a bagger. It seems the cashier asked an elderly gentlemen if he needed help getting anything out of his cart. He declined. Moments later, the bagger arrived and asked the same question. The cashier berated the bagger for asking a question that was a part of her job. She gets measured on whether she asks or not. He doesn’t. Proof that you can’t mandate good service.

They just moved our flight departure back another 45 minutes. I’m heading for the bar.


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