In Celebration of Customer Loyalty Month, Here’s Some “Anti-United Airlines” Stories

...lets highlight some great examples of service

April is Customer Loyalty Month. To celebrate, I share a few examples of great service that were submitted by the loyal readers of this blog. It’s nice to read something positive – aren’t we all getting tired of that United Airlines story?

Celebration of Customer Loyalty Month

Lindsey Hartig, Marketing Manager at Martin Resorts on California’s Central Coast, shares this story…

“At Pismo Lighthouse Suites, a son collected sand dollars for his dad since his dad couldn’t be with him on his trip. Unfortunately, he left them in the suite when he checked out and housekeeping threw away. The boy was very upset when he told his father he left them and the father called the hotel just to see if we had them.

Matt, a Guest Services Supervisor, took the call and said he would go to the beach and collect some for them and then mail them. Matt went to Morro Bay on his day off and collected a bunch, including the ‘dime sized’ one the son had found. They were shipped off the next day.”

Helene Wein, Director, Global Accounts at HelmsBriscoe, shares this story…

“Just got back from a work trip. Wish I would have gotten the name of the attendant, it happened so fast, and I was so impressed. Having just come from our group meeting at the restaurant, we had walked upstairs to attend an after dinner reception. I hadn’t gotten but just a few feet from the door and I started sneezing. Not usually a big deal, I sneeze in threes.

It was then one of the servers on the floor whisked over to me and handed me a cocktail napkin/tissue. Totally on his own, totally unexpected, most appreciated!!! Something so small, means so much, when folks anticipate your needs without having to ask. Hats off to Four Season Oahu at Ko Olina. Me and my nose thank you!!!”

Suzana shares this story…

“I contacted Instabox and spoke with _________ from Customer Service with a general inquiry about a few box sizes. On that initial call she was extremely helpful, even offering to remain after 5pm if I couldn’t get there earlier. She also informed me that there was a gentleman who arrived at work early everyday and he would be able to help me before regular business hours the next day if I wanted. I was pleasantly impressed.

Two days later I received in the mail detailed product information and costing without me having to ask. This made my decision to purchase easier. On the 17th I placed my order that was quickly followed up by phone call and on the 18th I received box samples in the mail. After confirming my order we decided on a completion date of the 2st. On the 19th I received a call stating that my order was complete ahead of schedule and ready for pickup at my convenience.

We are in the sales and service business and appreciate the level of commitment and service I received. You exceeded my expectations considerably, leaving me a much more than satisfied customer. Please convey my appreciation to your excellent staff.”

And, to finish today’s post highlighting great customer stories, I leave you with an example of bad service from Australia and why it’s so important to take care of your customer and do what’s in their best interest. That sure didn’t happen here…

Brock Fisher, National Manager – Customer Support for Little Real Estate

“I walked into the local Newsagent to buy a magazine, that happened to be $9.99.

As I approached the counter, I saw they had a sign up that said they had a $10 minimum on EFTPOS (electronic funds transfer at point of sale). Not sure if that is common in the US or not but it is relatively common here in Australia.

I asked the lady behind the counter if $9.99 qualified as $10.00 so I could use my Card (as I had no cash on me at the time) – and she promptly told me that unfortunately it did not, and then tried to upsell me on a pack of gum, a Mars candy bar, or anything else to get over that $10 threshold.

I actually laughed out loud, told her not to worry, and put the magazine back and walked out.  So instead of a small business making a couple of dollars, they made no dollars, and lost a customer – all for the sake of one arbitrary cent.

One of the points in your recent article “9 Business Building Hacks” really resonated with me, as I have often thought it myself – when I walk into your place of business, I am not there for any other reason than to try and give you some of my money – so EFTPOS minimums, surcharges etc – just make it harder for me to do so.

And the reality is, any electronic transaction surely is actually a time saver for business, as it cuts down the need to maintain the Till, go to the Bank to make deposits etc – not to mention minimizes the security risk of having large sums of cash in the business.”

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Thanks to all of you who continually focus on the customer’s satisfaction and understands that without them, we can never truly be successful.

Copyright © 2017 Steve DiGioia

► If you agree or disagree and have something to say about this post – I’d love to hear it. Leave a comment below…
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4 thoughts on “In Celebration of Customer Loyalty Month, Here’s Some “Anti-United Airlines” Stories

  1. Customer or Guest Service….whichever term is used – a business will be better if a program is in place- guaranteed! Little niggling things like the electronic limits shouldn’t matter in the grand scheme of doing business with people. Those detract from – and often cause a loss of – a sale. Being available for your customers or Guests even when they aren’t aware that they’ll need you for minor or major courtesies, sales, etc. is tantamount to a business’ success! Hope that there are more great stories out there than poor ones!

  2. Steve: Love you stuff! Here are two true stories from two Four-Star California hotels.

    At a wonderful SoCal hotel I went to the lobby to get a cup of coffee Unfortunately, it was 6:45am and coffee service wasn’t scheduled until 7:00am. The bellman said, “No problem. What’s your room number? I’ll have some coffee send up.” In five minutes there was a knock and, “Room service.” There was my coffee in a small carafe and two cups. The room service attended handed me a presenter for me to sign the check. The tab for that one cup of coffee was $25 plus $3 service charge and a 18% tip. The total exceeded thirty dollars. Wow!

    At a wonderful NoCal hotel I went to the lobby to get a cup of coffee Unfortunately, it was 6:45am and coffee service wasn’t scheduled until 7:00am. The night auditor said, “Coffee’s not until seven,” and went back to his work. I took a seat in the lobby to wait for my coffee. In five minutes a gentleman in a black suit walked up and placed a silver tray down next to me. There was my coffee in a silver coffee pot with real cream, raw sugar, sweetener, honey, silver spoon and linen napkin. The gentleman happened to be the night security guard. He smiled and said, “Good morning, sir. I overheard you asking about coffee so I went to the kitchen and discovered that the coffee had just finished brewing. I hope you find it to your liking. Have a wonderful day!” Wow!

    • Dale,

      These 2 stories (thanks for sharing them by the way) showcase 2 examples of great service, but with a disclaimer (or lack thereof):

      1st story does show a level of attentiveness from the bellman that made your coffee happen, and delivered to your room. But at a price that is the steepest I’ve every heard is unreasonable, even for the great service. There should have not been any expectation from you, the guest, that there would be a charge for the coffee, even if delivered to your room, since this was to take the place of the lobby coffee service that is usually complimentary.

      Communication with the guest is key and this proves that even with great service, poor communication will ruin the experience.

      2nd story, the security guard provided the WOW moment, kudos to him. But the night auditor can take lessons from the security guard…and some more service training.

      Thanks for sharing.