I flew back from Philadelphia early the other morning after some productive client mentoring. I walked into the plane and took my seat: 3C. There was a young lady, maybe 23 years old in row four expressing the kind of face that begs to ask a question and she did. Excuse me, would you help me lift my bag into the overhead bin please? The flight attendant wouldn’t help me. My first reaction was that I simply couldn’t believe my ears. My second reaction was to look for the flight attendant who refused to assist the young lady. I was gobsmacked that when I asked him as to why he didn’t help, he embarrassingly turned the other cheek and looked the other way – I was angry.
I later tweeted the particular airline asking, Were flight attendants there just for evacuations and emergencies or to sometimes assist passengers too?
Whats the lesson here for individual consultants and companies?
The lesson is clear – customers are not looking for robotic staff that just follow policies and procedure manuals. They are looking for great service with the HUMAN TOUCH. Certain rules of business must be honored when a customer initiates engagement with a representative of the company. The only wiggle room we genuinely have left to demonstrate our authenticity is going to be in our interaction with that customer.
The young lady knew by the law of averages that the plane would take off and land. She knew that the pilots were trained to a fantastic standard and she knew that the seat was going to be semi-comfortable. What she didn’t bank on was the hostile attitude of the staff.
So its not just the mechanism of business, its the experience too.
For crying out loud someone give the Tin Man a heart!!!!