Customer Service Doesn’t Mean Playing by the Rules

I can be quite negative about my experiences with Customer Service.  It seems that most people in Service Industries get by doing the bare minimum; smile, look directly at the person you are serving, be polite, etc., followed by inevitable “Have a Nice Day”.

Last Friday I had a great day!  Here’s the story:

A couple of days earlier my Blackberry had somehow slipped out of my jacket and found its way under a chair in the Maple Leaf Lounge (MLL) at Montreal airport.  I notice it missing when I got to the gate for my flight, quickly ran back up looking for it, but could not see it.  I asked the employee working the desk, who asked the cleaners….but no luck.

I dutifully notified Bell that it was missing, and they suspended the service, I notified Air Canada’s Lost Baggage service, who seemed to have trouble understanding how to record this occurrence, and started researching my replacement device.  I was sure it was gone forever.

Two days later there was a message on my home phone from Barbara in the MLL.  She had been checking around the lounge during a quiet time and had spotted my phone.  She found my contact information on it and called to tell me she had it.  At this point, I suspect the standard Customer Service Handbook would have instructed her to turn the phone over to the lost baggage office for them to follow up.  Perfectly understandable and acceptable.

But Barbara realised that these days your “mobile device” is often your lifeline to the world.  So she offered to courier the phone back to me so that I wouldn’t have to go through any more trouble.   I was suitably appreciative, I hope.  In fact I was stunned that this person who didn’t know me, worked for an organization that we Canadians love to dismiss as “Customer Phobic” would take her personal time to make my life easier.

Thank you Barbara for continuing to enhance my respect for the human touch in Customer Relations.

Keeping on focusing on the customer,

Steve and Megann

P.S. By the way Barbara, I sent a note to Air Canada praising you for your help.  I hope it helps them continue to focus on letting their employees solve their customer’s problem.


About Panoptika

You know when you wonder if you really know what your customers want? What I do is help you work with your customers, or potential customers, in a way that connects you more deeply than you thought possible. We can do this through traditional techniques, such as Focus Groups, Qualitative and Quantitative studies, etc. or, if you really want to know your customers and the future of your brand, you can involve them in Innovation Games(TM).

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