Delta is one of my two preferred airlines. And the other day they reminded me why. It was pretty simple. I arrived at the airport and wanted to change my flight. I was flying on an awards ticket. To move me to the earlier flight (which was a nonstop; versus the connection itinerary) there needed to be seats available in the same class of ticket. There were none.
The agent at the counter looked to her left and then to her right. Not sure if she was looking for help or looking to do something that she wasn’t supposed to do.
“Let me see if I can override this and get you on the earlier flight” she said to me.
She was about to go rogue. She was about to break a rule. She was about to do something that lots of employees love doing…………. something to help a customer; even though the policy manual might say to do the opposite. She was about to do exactly what I had just read about in the Delta Sky magazine on a flight a few days earlier.
3 hours later I was in Memphis. 4 hours earlier than my original plans.
Now my car rental experience was something much different. My two preferred car rental companies are Enterprise and Alamo – which coincidentally are owned by the same company. However, I received a deal from Hertz. Not exactly my favorite car rental company from past experiences I thought I would give them a chance.
“There are no cars available in the class you rented. It will be about 20 minutes” is what I was told by the last Hertz counter agent I will ever encounter. I looked around and saw several others waiting for a car. I pointed to a lot full of cars. She offered to downgrade me a class. So much for my deal – and so much for giving Hertz another chance.
For those of you who remember the previous Hertz branding……….NOT EXACTLY my idea of employees offering a great customer experience. I told her I would wait.
Suddenly the shuttle bus appeared. It had lots of people inside. All I could think was what these people were about to encounter. Then I heard my name called. They had a car for me.
Upgrade!!! Of course they should have done that immediately.
Customer Service is not that difficult. As a matter of fact it is pretty simple if you keep these 2 things in mind:
- Do whatever you can to make the customer experience memorable
- When you screw up, the fix is not to penalize a customer but do whatever you can to not lose their biz
So thank you once again Delta. And bye-bye Hertz…..for good.