“Are you happy now?” she asked.
“Yes, most definitely,” I replied.
“Are we good?”
In the wake of all the stories about passengers being hassled by the airlines including the latest about a family getting booted from a JetBlue flight over a birthday cake, I wanted to share with you an incident that happened last week on my Delta flight home from Las Vegas.
As the drink cart worked its way down the aisle I removed my headphones, lowered my tray, and waited my turn. For reasons unknown, the flight attendant offered drinks to the A, B, C seats but skipped over us in D, E, and F. No problem. I’ll just hit the call button.
“What can I do for you?” asked the flight attendant.
“You missed our row for drinks,” I said.
“Oh, I’m very sorry. That wasn’t on purpose. What would you like to drink?”
“Diet Coke, please.”
As she handed down my Diet Coke and a Ginger Ale for the gentleman on my right, she asked, “Are we okay?”
“Yes we are.”
“Would you be happier with a bottle of rum for that Diet Coke?”
“Yes I would.”
The flight attendant returned a moment later with a bottle of rum and started the conversation at the beginning of this post. Apparently not satisfied with my answer, she stopped by three more times before we landed to check on my “happy” status. A fist bump finally convinced her I wasn’t going to slam her online.
This flight attendant knew she made a mistake. It was a tiny one in the grand scheme of things, a definite first-world problem of the utmost degree. But that wasn’t going to stop her from going over-the-top to make sure she made it right.
Here is the lesson … Over-the-Top
I would have been perfectly happy with a quick apology and a Diet Coke. That was my expectation. She went far above and beyond my expectations to my surprise and delight. An apology and a Diet Coke would not have garnered a blog post and the extra word-of-mouth. An unexpected bottle of rum and three more courtesy checks on my happiness have me telling you about the wonderful attitude of the flight attendants on Delta.
When you make a mistake, do what you have to do to fix it. Then do a little more. It pays off far more than it costs you.
PS Word-of-Mouth may be considered a form of Advertising, but in reality it is mostly a by-product of your Customer Service. Get that right and the only viral videos of your company will be positive ones. Two presentations – Get Your Customers to Talk About You and Raising the Bar to Go Viral – will change the way customers experience your business and what they say about you afterword. When you’re ready to start generating positive word-of-mouth, give me a call.