Friday, August 31, 2007

Flying high on outstanding customer service

The CBS Early Show aired a segment this morning called The Friendliest Skies. The star of the piece is a United Airline pilot, Captain Denny Flanagan, who takes it upon himself to bring customer service up to a whole new level. Here are the highlights:


  • buys McDonald's hamburgers for passengers on delayed flights.
  • takes pictures of pets stored in cargo to reassure passengers.
  • makes sure children flying alone get window seats; calls their parents if there are unexpected delays.
  • asks passengers to play in a contest in which they write down their best or worst flying experiences; he later posts them on United bulletin boards so that employees can learn about customers' experiences. (Contest winners, by the way, get a bottle of fine wine).
  • writes personalized thank-you notes on the back of his business card for first-class passengers who are frequent fliers.
Flanagan insists it only takes a minute to provide these little extras that put the "service" back in customer service. Makes one think about what small surprises we can add to our own services to make them exceptional.


Rosario said...

Several years ago I was on a United flight where the Captain wrote the frequent fliers (not just in First Class) thank you notes! THAT made an impression on me.

Jill said...

Yeah, I double-checked the video and it did specifically state he wrote the notes for first-class passengers, though he does quite a bit for passengers in general. I give him credit for going above-and-beyond, especially when I consider the travel nightmares I've experienced lately.