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Kevin & Jackie Freiberg

Archive for December, 2010

Inspiring Fiercely Devoted Customers

Have you ever been treated to Proactive Customer Service?

For over 35 years Southwest Airline’s major point of differentiation is and has always been their consistent practice of positively outrageous service.

Candidly, we are diligent about staying connected and keeping current on Southwest Airlines’ Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success but we must admit recently we were taken by surprise. We were the recipients of Proactive Customer Service—perhaps one of Southwest’s most timely and timeless claims to fame!

What is “Proactive Customer Service?” These days it’s rare, but when it happens it will blow you away.

We received the electronic letter copied below from Southwest Airlines when heavy fog caused Kevin’s flight home to bypass San Diego and land more than 450 miles North in Oakland, CA.

“Greetings from Southwest Airlines:

I regret that we were unable to provide service to San Diego on November 15. I’m truly sorry for the overall inconvenience and the hassle to reschedule your plans—we sincerely appreciate every ounce of your patience with us and the foggy weather conditions.

Naturally, we were unable to control Mother Nature or her willingness to cooperate with our flight plans. That said, I’d like to invite you back for more enjoyable travel experiences with us; and in this regard, I’m sending a LUV Voucher to help offset the cost of your next Southwest Airlines reservation. Please accept this tangible gesture of goodwill and give us another opportunity to provide you with better air travel memories—you can be sure that we are looking forward to seeing you again real soon.”

Assistant Manager, Proactive Customer Service Communications

The landing ban in San Diego wasn’t lifted until the following morning so needless to say it required an overnight stay. Kevin and more than a hundred other stranded Southwest passengers were directed to the Hilton just outside Oakland International Airport. To everyone’s surprise Southwest Airlines covered the cost of the stay. Wow, LUV vouchers AND hotel coverage…Southwest went above and beyond.

Let’s face it this kind of proactive “above and beyond” service is very uncommon, to be specific, it was positively outrageous. Typically in the airline industry when Mother Nature grounds, diverts or slows air traffic the airlines are only required to “rebook” within 48 hours.

Try it! Proactive customer service is positively outrageous. It inspires unforgettable experiences; stories people love to brag about, and diehard customer loyalty.

When was the last time someone went above and beyond to provided you with proactive customer service?

In the true spirit of the season what can YOU do to go above and beyond and fuel proactive customer service in your own corner of the world? Circle back, share your experiences, pay it forward…and Fiercely Devoted Customers should follow.

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