In “The True Story of Amazing Customer Service From – GASP! – an Airline”, Barbara Apple Sullivan, CEO and managing partner of Sullivan, a brand engagement firm based in New York City, retells the experience she had when she lost her passport in Paris, trying to return to the States on Delta Airlines.
From that experience, she drew four important lessons for everyone who works in or leads a “service” business:
1. Any and every interaction with your brand [team, organization, service] is meaningful. The interaction at the 6-foot level is just as important as the ad campaign at the 30,000 foot level. The client’s experience is on the ground where the results are real.
2. Employees must understand what their company [team, organization] stands for and how they are expected to deliver. Each person in the organization needs to see their role in delivering value to the client and actually deliver that value.
3. Employees should be given permission to use their judgment.
4. Employees should be rewarded for demonstrating the desired behavior.
Sullivan’s essay – it’s really worth reading in full – and her four lessons should remind us all that we are always in the customer satisfaction business. Take a moment today to think about how you and your staff satisfy your customers. It’s easy to think, oh, we do that. But, stop and ask how are you really doing.