The Simple Complexity of Outstanding Customer Service

But she could get by with the bare minimum. She could be pleasant but not super friendly. She could wait to be asked before providing a bunch of helpful information, or extras like looking at the availability of upgraded seats. She could seem like she’s doing her job competently, but she likely doesn’t get paid based on going above and beyond to be enthusiastic and proactively helpful.

Yet, she was. She clearly gets satisfaction out of being outstanding and helpful. And she absolutely MADE my morning of travel, putting me at ease and putting a smile on my face (which is a feat before I’ve had caffeine, as anyone who has encountered me in the morning can attest).

Outstanding customer service is not complicated. There was nothing particularly fancy here, no tricks or gimmicks or whizbang technology. But Fran was helpful, friendly, clearly enjoyed her job, and made me feel like she was glad I was there.

The problem is that these concepts are exceedingly simple, yet so few companies set the bar there. It’s not cheap nor easy to find the Frans of the world and keep them motivated, happy and continually rewarded for being exceptional, much less to have Fran at scale (it’s far easier in a concierge-like environment like this one). The basics aren’t necessarily sexy, or “viral”, or likely to make the media.

Moreover, when we find people like her, we promote them into management and remove them from the places where they can make an outstanding and direct difference, because our companies aren’t built to create authority, career development, and prestige in front-line roles.


brasstackthinking.com

The Simple Complexity of Outstanding Customer Service - Brass Tack ThinkingSomeone at American Airlines, please give Fran a raise.

I travel a lot, so I fork over the cash each year – about $500 – to be a member of American’s Admiral’s Club. It’s a nice little airline lounge that they have in a lot of major airports, including my home base of O’Hare, and it makes waiting for a flight easier with some snacks and beverages, free wifi, comfortable seats and plentiful outlets. Way worth the money in itself.

I walked in yesterday before my flight to Austin, and was greeted by Fran at the desk. I handed over my card so she could check me in, and she asked my destination.

With a big smile, Fran went on to say:

“Well, welcome Ms. Naslund. Flight 3600 is departing out of gate G13 today, and I currently show an aircraft on the ground and a crew checked in, so you should be all set for an on time departure. We’ll be boarding at about 9:15 and we’ll announce the flight as it comes up, and if there are any delays, I’ll let you know.

Now let me see if there might be any upgrades available….ah, unfortunately not today, but I do have a bulkhead seat held if you’d like that instead of your current seat assignment.”

(I accepted with gratitude…) Leer más “The Simple Complexity of Outstanding Customer Service”

Paying It Backward: How To Get Your Customers to Reciprocate

Loyalty Programs

A good way to get your customers to pay it backward is by installing a “loyalty program,” fit to whatever conditions you deem acceptable for your industry/business. According to an article by Inc, American Airlines was one of the first purveyors of this practice; it wanted more loyalty and participation for its customers, so it developed “frequent flyer miles” in the 1980s–and other airlines quickly followed suit. Regarding loyalty programs, Inc says that you should ask the following questions: “Is it customer tenure that’s most valuable? What about dollar-value of purchases? Would you rather be a company that delights clients with surprise bonuses or upgrades? Two other big issues should shape your decision: What your competitors are doing, and how much your company can afford to spend on the program.” Consider carefully these questions before you implement your program.


by Dan Martell
http://www.flowtown.com/blog/paying-it-backward-how-to-get-your-customers-to-reciprocate 

pay-it-forward

In the film Pay It Forward, the main character (played by actor Haley Joel Osment) is invited by his social studies teacher to “think of something to change the world.” He cleverly plays on the common notion of “giving back,” deciding instead to “pay it forward”– doing a favor for three new people as a means of repaying good deeds.

You can encourage customers to adopt this same good spirit with a similar practice: Paying It Backward. You need to make your customers enthusiastic about reciprocating services, advertising your company, and in general helping your business to expand. How can you achieve this?

Loyalty Programs

A good way to get your customers to pay it backward is by installing a “loyalty program,” fit to whatever conditions you deem acceptable for your industry/business. According to an article by Inc, American Airlines was one of the first purveyors of this practice; it wanted more loyalty and participation for its customers, so it developed “frequent flyer miles” in the 1980s–and other airlines quickly followed suit. Regarding loyalty programs, Inc says that you should ask the following questions: “Is it customer tenure that’s most valuable? What about dollar-value of purchases? Would you rather be a company that delights clients with surprise bonuses or upgrades? Two other big issues should shape your decision: What your competitors are doing, and how much your company can afford to spend on the program.” Consider carefully these questions before you implement your program. Leer más “Paying It Backward: How To Get Your Customers to Reciprocate”

JetBlue brings Wifi to its full fleet

JetBlue Airways has become the latest airline to introduce Wifi on all its planes, meaning there’s one less place for us all to hide from work.

The airline’s full fleet of over 160 planes will get inflight broadband from mid-2012, following a deal with satellite company ViaSat.

“In just the three years since we launched BetaBlue, the first commercial aircraft with simple messaging capability, technology has advanced by generations,” said CEO Dave Barger.

“Rather than invest in current technology, designed to transmit broadcast video and audio, we elected to partner with ViaSat to create broadband functionality worthy of today’s interactive personal technology needs.”

Unlike many of its competitors, JetBlue isn’t using Aircell’s Gogo technology; instead, the system uses ViaSat’s advanced Ka-band satellites. Under the arrangement, ViaSat will provide Ka-band antenna components and SurfBeam 2 modems for installation on the airline’s EMBRAER E190 and Airbus A320 aircraft, along with two-way transmission bandwidth services using the WildBlue-1 and ViaSat-1 satellites.


Emma Woollacott | http://www.tgdaily.com

JetBlue Airways has become the latest airline to introduce Wifi on all its planes, meaning there’s one less place for us all to hide from work.

The airline’s full fleet of over 160 planes will get inflight broadband from mid-2012, following a deal with satellite company ViaSat.

“In just the three years since we launched BetaBlue, the first commercial aircraft with simple messaging capability, technology has advanced by generations,” said CEO Dave Barger.

“Rather than invest in current technology, designed to transmit broadcast video and audio, we elected to partner with ViaSat to create broadband functionality worthy of today’s interactive personal technology needs.”

Unlike many of its competitors, JetBlue isn’t using Aircell‘s Gogo technology; instead, the system uses ViaSat’s advanced Ka-band satellites. Under the arrangement, ViaSat will provide Ka-band antenna components and SurfBeam 2 modems for installation on the airline’s EMBRAER E190 and Airbus A320 aircraft, along with two-way transmission bandwidth services using the WildBlue-1 and ViaSat-1 satellites. Leer más “JetBlue brings Wifi to its full fleet”