Tips & Best Practices for Family Entertainment Centers

The Wrong Approach to Customer Service

Pam has done a terrific job the last 3 weeks telling great stories about great guest service. In every instance it was the little things that added up to such a big deal. I want to reiterate how RIGHT she is, and that the little things the other direction can make for such a poor experience your customer might go away and you’ll never know.

Yesterday I was at the end of a very long day. It was late and I was on the 4th leg of travel from Michigan to Chicago to DFW (changed airports – left my phone in the car), DFW to Houston, Houston to Panama City. Throw in, that I drove 1½ hours to get to the first flight and was looking forward to a 2 hour drive after I got on the ground in Panama City. I was tired to say the least. If you read my column, you know that I normally fly American Airlines. I was reminded why I make that choice as I was on my last leg last night.

I flew Southwest from DFW to Panama City. I admire the efficiency of this airline. Typically I love the crew. They are fun and funny. Not so much last night! I take that back…I think the flight attendant in question thought he was cute. I disagree. They came through to ask about soft drinks, or anything to drink for that matter. I ask a simple question – “What diet soft drinks do you have?” The flight attendant whipped out a menu from the seat back pocket and shoved it in my face. Come on now – a menu on Southwest Airlines? They serve peanuts (which I wasn’t offered any). I couldn’t get my light to work, the print was small enough, and in my tired state, my glasses wouldn’t work good enough for me to see. So I said, “just give me water.” He smirked. I got my water.

During the flight, I got the light working good enough to see that there was only Diet Coke. That really insulted me. There was one choice and he couldn’t provide enough service to give me a verbal answer. Since I am a customer service fanatic, I felt like I needed to say something to him. So on the way out, I shared with the flight attendant that I thought it was surprising that he couldn’t tell me that they have Diet Coke since that was the only diet soft drink on the actual menu. He pops up and says, “Oh we have Diet Sprite too.” I lost it and told him that I thought it was incredibly disrespectful that he couldn’t just tell me that when I asked him, and that he should think twice the next time he opts to shove a menu in someone’s face instead of respond to them directly.

He couldn’t’ know how tired I was, but he could see that I couldn’t get the light on, and was obviously struggling to read the menu. Southwest and a menu – give me a break.

I’m considering using my points and flying home from Tallahassee on American. I just don’t need the crappy service.

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