Excellent Customer Service: It’s an Adventure!
Did I ever tell you about the time we went to Mexico on our first cousins’ trip? This will be a good story to share about our vacation last week. As promised, this week will be about excellent customer service. Sit back and enjoy some highlights of our Adventure!
The goal was to be poolside in Mexico by 2:00 pm on Saturday. Early start at Detroit airport: The Adventure started at 4:00 am when we were informed our flight was delayed 7 hours. The woman behind the ticket counter was in training and was courteous, offered suggestions and let us linger while we made phone calls, consider other flights before we decided to check our bags and wait it out. She did mention her shift ended at noon and would have us on our way before she left.
Some passengers went home to start over the next day. Others were moved to other flights with stops along the way to Lauderdale, the original destination of our flight. We did receive $7 vouchers for lunch and $7 vouchers for dinner. While a nice gesture, the only items on the menu covered were fries and ice cream and snacks at some of the airport stores. A third $7 voucher was given to us around 2:00 pm so it was $14 towards dinner. Thanks to Jack for splurging on the huge bag of peanut M&M’s!
Around 3:00 pm a new person at the gate kiosk announced a cryptic message about our flight being cancelled. He suggested we could consider a flight to Philadelphia and eventually arrive in Lauderdale for midnight. This set the remaining passengers off! Most of them approached him and they were shouting. Now in his defense, he was simply passing along information he had and did not realize exactly what he said to trigger this response. He then added it was a consideration as we wait for the flight to Lauderdale. Sometimes it can be challenging dealing with the public by doing your job. I felt bad for him as it was not his fault since he shared what he knew and was trying to help.
While we were debating Philadelphia versus waiting it out a “little” longer, our flight was announced it would be leaving in 15-30 minutes. Cheers of joy! I went up to the woman who was helping us all day and said can you do us a favour to lighten up our “adventure”? She smiled and played along with the idea. We were Zone 4 and when it was our turn to board, she announced “Now boarding the Twilight Zone” as we cheered and walked with a purpose on the plane.
Now this plane was the one that was grounded the night before and yes that is the plane in the picture here. We found out it had a cracked windshield and was in repair across the way in our view the entire day. They were just waiting for it to dry fully before flying out. We joked about the shiny aviation aluminum trim around the windshield hoping it was “aviation rated duct tape”.
We had the entire plane for the 8 of us, about a dozen other passengers that stuck it out, some crew members being re-routed! Our assistant from 4:00 am who was supposed to leave at noon, came on the plane at 3:30 to ask if we were OK now, wished us a good flight and a pleasant vacation. She was a good sport and could not leave until we were taken care of. We applauded her and thanked her – now that is excellent customer service!
We arrive in Lauderdale and checked into the hotel the airline booked for us. Well the gentleman checking us in smiled, laughed and said “you know, the airlines call all the time, ask if we have rooms and we say yes but they never book any. Sorry we don’t have any reservations for you guys.” Groan. “But I can definitely book some rooms. How does everyone feel about King size beds? Oh and by the way, one of the pizza places sent me a large pizza that I just received and you are welcome to have it as a way to say sorry about your rough day.” We declined and took his recommendation on where we could order pizza and salad. By the way, very tough to find pizza better than WindsorEssex pizza!
The next morning we flew out to Mexico! Yes our luggage followed us all the way and no there were no hassles or fees to deal with. The resort booked us for an additional night and the airline booked us a day later to go home. We were treated very well at the resort thanks to Amy who dealt with all our comments, questions and complaints in stride during the whole trip. Yes she was on vacation with us too, although since she booked it, she took all the responsibility to take good care of us. The red carpet at Cancun airport shuttle was a nice touch!
The dinner reservations and the food was excellent – again we thank Mike and Amy for taking care of all the details. It is a lot better than standing in line and booking dinners or standing in line just to get a seat. Reserved seating, great service and delicious food all week.
It’s easy to complain, to say it was a rough ride and to nit-pick on a lot of stuff, but I have to say, from a customer service perspective, almost all the people we interacted with did their best to accommodate us. Some went well beyond the call of duty to ensure we were taken care of. Now if someone could have stopped all the rain we had that would have been the icing on the cake.
What excellent customer service have you experienced on your adventures?