Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Grit your teeth and remember ..... the customer is always right!

Sometimes it is really difficult to remember the customer is always right.
I am fully signed up to the concept that the customer is always right.
I love the following
Rule A
The customer is always right
Rule B
If the customer is wrong refer to Rule A
When dealing directly with customers at the front line in any organisation it is a real test to remember this when faced with difficult and 'patience testing' people who just don't want to listen or cannot let you try and explain a situation that may not be within your contol.
Congratulations therefore to the young lady featured in the following comical and yet profound example of customer care.
I hope you will laugh and enjoy reading it ... and at the same time remember there is a real message in this for anyone wanting to maintain good customer care.
Happy Wednesday ... the sun is shining!!!
THE AIRLINE ATTENDANT!


We can learn a lot from this girl.... How to handle a difficult customer.
If you ever have a difficult situation to manage, you might consider the approach offered by this obviously well trained Customer Service Officer.
Indeed, an award should go to the Virgin Airlines gate attendant in Sydney some months ago for being smart and funny, while making her point, when confronted with a passenger who probably deserved to fly as cargo.

A crowded Virgin flight was cancelled after Virgin's 767s had been withdrawn from service.
A single attendant was re-booking a long line of inconvenienced travellers. Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket down n on the counter and said, "I HAVE to be on this flight and it HAS to be FIRST CLASS."
The attendant replied, "I'm sorry sir. I'll be happy to try to help you, but I’ve got to help these people first, and I'm sure we'll be able to work something out."
The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the passengers behind him could hear, "DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO I AM?"
Without hesitating, the attendant smiled and grabbed her public address microphone: "May I have your attention please, may I have your attention please," she began - her voice heard clearly throughout the terminal. "We have a passenger here at Gate 14 WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to Gate 14."
With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man glared at the Virgin attendant, gritted his teeth and said, "F*** you!"
Without flinching, she smiled and said, "I'm sorry, sir, but you'll have to get in line for that too."

8 comments:

felix gerena said...

Trevor, it´s the funniest story I have heard in a long time. I still keep laughing.

Trevor Gay said...

I think so too Felix - it is hilarious - tell your friends.

Hope you are well - the sun is shining brightly here in England but it is rather cold.

Trevor

Peter said...

hahaha.. so kewl a story.. thanks for making my day.. Actually I picked it up from felix's blog !!

Now, I'll add you to my RSS feeds !!

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Peter

Glad you like the Blog - tell your friends.

Trevor

Anonymous said...

Great great great!

Gabriel Salcido

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Gabriele - tell your friends - it really is a wonderful story isn't it?

Greetings from a chilly but bright English Sunday morning!

Trevor

Brian Galbraith, Australia said...

Great story Trevor but I disagree completely that the customer is always right! Right-wing perhaps (to pinch someone else's excellent phrase) and always, always IMPORTANT!!!!

But always right?

No!

Going on my own experience as a customer and observing customer relationships over the years in a wide variety of settings the customer is quite often wrong - at least in a technical or legalistic sense.

What matters though is that, right or wrong, the customer's satisfaction is the key to our success as a business!!

So, they're always important. They pay the bills, help the business survive and grow and give all of us a sense of purpose and meaning.

My preference is to forget the right and wrong dichotomy and think instead in terms of significance and importance.

In this way, along with our own people, our suppliers and other business partners, our investors and communities, customers are a treasure!!!!

Always to be valued and nurtured, respected and honoured but never fawned over or made out to be right at others' expense.

For the customer to be right in situations of disagreement or concern implies winners and losers, masters and servants.

Never a productive model!!

Love the blog site. Keep up the good work.

Brian G, Australia

Trevor Gay said...

Brilliant response Brian as always.

It must be hot in Aus. at present methinks.

Customers must always be treasured I agree.

I guess to say the customer is always right is a sweeping gneralisation .... but I believe bad organisations dismiss their customers feeling too easily and focus 'inward' on the organiation.

Truly great organisations love and respect their customers and listen to everything the customer says.

'Customer care' is old hat.

'Delighting your customer' is old hat.

For me tne new language is;

How can I personally make my customer feel like the most important person in the world?

Take care my friend in Aus. and get prepared to lose the Ashes this summer! - England are on a roll.

Trevor