There is something about the Chicago O’Hare airport. I’ve traveled through this airport for international flight connections twice and they were both with major delays. The first was a flight to Singapore that never took off until the next day.
Another was a flight to Brisbane, Australia that left us with seconds to catch the next flight in Los Angeles. That’s where we ‘lost’ our luggage for 2 weeks. That flight delay had made it impossible for the luggage to be transferred on time.
Being a traveler that prefers an aisle seat, this time I’ve purposefully reserved a middle seat. I decide to see if there will be any response from American Airlines if I tweeted about my middle seat. Social media has changed a lot of things in life. American Airlines replied and wished me a safe and enjoyable trip. Sure it made the trip quite 'joyful' when I received a tweet back from the social media team at American Airlines.
However, looking at the way the flight attendant treated customers made me feel really ‘yucky’. What happened to customer service and ‘love and take pride in your job?'. Didn’t she know her job could be replaced anytime? There are thousands out there who are looking for a job just like hers.
She served her customers without a smile and as if it was with great difficulty to serve water without ice. What happened to the smile and care of American Airlines like this commercial in the 70s?
“Where are you going?” “Amalfi Chicago Hotel”, I answered. “How much?” He said twenty-five dollars and I did not believe him. I did some research before leaving for Chicago. I showed my doubt and he answered which Amalfi are you going to?
“Man, there is only one Amalfi!” Would you take the cab to the city with the cab driver I just described? I decided to take the alternative, airport shuttle. To get on an airport shuttle, you need to purchase a ticket with a ticket agent inside the terminal. Got my ticket at $31 one way and didn’t know there was at least an half hour wait before the van took off.
Sitting in traffic for over two hours I finally arrive at the Amalfi Chicago Hotel at 5:26pm, 4 minutes before my appointment with my business and copywriting coach.
Flight attendants, bus, cab and airport shuttle drivers are in the customer care and hospitality business. What happened to customer service?
Is there such a thing as 'under promise over deliver’ in the tourism and hospitality industry? It is sad to write this but it is true. We lack the enthusiasm and there is little pride in hospitality personnel especially in the transportation sectors. It has been too many times that I witnessed the lack of customer care and smiles.
I did not purchase any memento from Chicago but these I learned after a weekend spent using the transportations to and from Chicago and with my business and copywriting coach and three other amazing copywriters:
1. Care for your customers
2. Take pride in what you do
3. Smile, you’ve got a choice
4. Set healthy boundaries for yourself and your business
5. If you are serving others, it is not about you…it is about what your client wants
Most of all, I believe in “under promise over deliver.” I saw this in Sandi and her team. Unfortunately it was absent in the transportation sector for travelers.
With that said, how can I assist you? Are you frustrated with the poor quality of customer care in our society today? Leave your comment below.