Go the Extra Mile with Customer Service – An Example from Delta Airlines

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It’s that time of year when everyone is traveling to see family and shopping for the holidays.

All of this holiday shopping has reminded me that people have become so immune to poor customer service and are actually surprised when they receive exceptional service. On the flip side, companies usually only hear about the bad experiences. More often than not, you hear customers getting upset with an employee.

Sometimes complaints are justified, but that’s not always the case…just look at the latest Alec Baldwin rampage on American Airlines. Geez Alec, just admit you were wrong for having a meltdown or say you were just rehearsing a new role as an entitled actor.

Anyways, just remember, to acknowledge good customer service too. And while you’re at it, stop to think about the type of service you provide to your customers. Do you always go the extra mile?

Let me tell you one of my stories…

I recently flew Delta Airlines and the elderly couple behind me had luggage that was way too big for a carry-on. They managed to get it in the overhead bin after I took out an item in my carry-on at the flight attendant’s request. Unfortunately, I ended up leaving that item (an iPod with cash in the case) in the seat pocket in front of me when I got off the plane.

A couple of hours later, I called the airlines with no success. Everyone was sympathetic, but didn’t know how to help me since the company policy was to just report a missing item (and warned I’d probably never see it again).

I was mad at myself for forgetting it (and the flight attendant for asking me to remove the iPod), but decided to try one last ditch effort…emailing the president of Delta Airlines.

The next morning, the president had a team go on the plane and find the iPod. When they noticed the cash wasn’t there, they took apart the seats to try to find the cash. The president’s executive assistant called me personally to follow-up and two days later, the iPod was in my hands.

Wow! Talk about going the extra mile. I’ll never forget that customer service experience and will be forever grateful to Delta Airlines.

So what kind of customer service have you experienced lately?

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