Thursday, February 02, 2006

It Is About The Service

I experienced great service and lousy service last night.

I was flying to Washington DC to deliver two fast talks on Networking and Business Development Skills to a law firm and a software company. What should have been an easy evening of travel was anything but easy.

Bad weather in Houston caused the airport to shut down, so my outbound flight from Austin was delayed. Now I will never complain when an airline is being "safe" (arriving late always beats the alternative). And Continental did not create the thunderstorms....but it was as if they had never experienced such things like delayed travelers before. Come on people....this happens all the time.

The story is long, and painful....but lets just say that the people who work for the airline made it worse by how they handled the situation. Someone there needs to give some "customer service" lessons to those who are dealing with the public.

I landed in Washington DC at 1:45 AM. I needed to be up at 6:00 AM to do my morning presentation. Lets just say I was not in the best mood.

But alas, I was staying at the Ritz Carlton. Now I am not familiar with staying at the nicest places (look up cheap in the photo!!!). But I do see why the Ritz has such a fantastic reputation. The night front desk clerk knew who I was (not many people arriving at 2:30 AM, plus I had called twice from my car because I was lost) and greated me by name. In addition he inquired (with genuine interest) about my travels.

He had a great personality, was very friendly, and put a positive spin to the end of my long day. He took concern of my tight schedule, made sure I would have a wake up call, assured me my car would be out front at 7 AM and extended the offer of a late check out today so I could grab a nap before catching my flight home.

So let's recap. Continental Airlines (while not their fault for the delay) just got me more and more frustrated by their indifference......Ritz Carlton Hotel (while not their fault either) went out of their way to make it better and make me feel important.

Which type of company do you work for???? How do your customers feel about how you handle them (especially on rough days?)?

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

No comments: