The thing about great service is that it stands right up there and slaps you in the face.
You see, great service is so uncommon, so not ever there, that when it is there, it is really difficult to miss it.
I’m writing this blog while I’m on my way home from an intense two-day Mastermind meeting in Atlanta. And as you can imagine, when you travel halfway around the world, after I’ve been on the ground in Atlanta for less than forty-eight hours, I’m feeling a little bit topsy turvy, and I’m not sure if I’m Arthur or Martha.
But what I am sure about is the excellent service I just received on the first part of my journey home.
I’m writing this piece right now from my seat aboard QF8. My plane has just now departed from Dallas-Fort Worth airport and is up in the sky headed for Sydney.
But, and I mean BUT, my earlier connection from Atlanta to Dallas was a little bit “iffy”, if you know what I mean.
The reason I say this is that last month on my trip home to Sydney from Philadelphia, as you all know, my airline flight connection in San Francisco was tight, and due to weather, I missed my Qantas flight home.
So with that recent episode in mind, I was mindful this time that my travel agent had booked me today on a flight from Atlanta to Dallas which had given me only seventeen minutes on the ground in Dallas Airport to connect from my landed flight [from Atlanta] to my departing flight [headed to Sydney].
And to me that was never going to be enough time….
You see, you never ever know which gate or terminal your flight is going to arrive at in Dallas, and so there is the anticipation of the fact that you could spend a heck of a lot of your valuable time in Dallas airport just running around from gate to sky train to gate…. if you know what I mean.
With luck, my meeting in Atlanta finished mid-afternoon, so I had the opportunity of getting to the Atlanta airport earlier. And with this, I was fortunate to be able to ask if there was availability to travel on an earlier flight from Atlanta to Dallas.
So here’s what happened….
At the check in counter, the American Airlines lady Stephanie told me that there was an earlier flight, but, there were no empty seats on it, so she could wait list me for a seat, but I needed to be at the gate when they called…
Now, with this in mind, I thought that my chances of getting on the earlier flight were slim to say the least…
So, in Atlanta, there’s a great Sushi restaurant in terminal C. And my flight was leaving from Terminal T and check in was in Terminal T….
So here’s what I did. I headed out to Terminal C for the Sushi, figuring that my chance of a bump forward was slim….
So fast forward now, and although I had plenty of time, my Sushi meal was slow being served, so I ended up heading towards my Gate in Terminal T on the late side. In fact, I ended up arriving at my gate about ten minutes after boarding had commenced.
So I ask there whether or not I’d been able to get the bump forward.
Well oh my goodness!!
I’m greeted by the gate attendant at the counter as though I’m a long lost relative! She has my boarding pass there waiting, and they’ve been holding my seat and calling for me for a heck of a long time she said….
And all of this was conveyed to me with excitement as if it had not been a bother and they were so glad to have found me….
I’ve never ever felt so welcomed in all of my days…
So, long story short, I board my plane, I’m seated in the correct cabin, and I enjoy some super service on my flight across to Dallas from Atlanta.
When I arrive in Dallas I have plenty of time to travel from gate to gate via sky train, and all is good in the world.
Was I made to feel special?
You bet I was.
Why was this?
Was it because of my flying status with One World?
I’d guess that could have had something to do with it…
The thing I do like about American Airlines is that they do go out of their way to recognise their loyal customers.
What are you doing in your business to make your long term loyal customers feel special?
You see, while I was waiting to board my Qantas plane, I chatted with a fellow traveler who told me he would be switching from Qantas next time….
Now I’m not sure exactly why he was switching, but I do know, that when I do fly Qantas, and American, they do go out of their way to smooth over any hiccups that invariably occur.
Is that because I’m a premium flyer?
I certainly hope so.
I think that loyalty to a brand should count for something, don’t you?
How loyal a customer are you?
Are your regular suppliers rewarding you for your loyalty?
Are they noticing?
I hope so…
Because if they are not, then you do need to look around…
But if they are trying to make up for any short fallings…. then thank them and trust them…
After all, we are all human….
To a point….
How can we apply this to dental?
Do you know who your loyal customers are in your dental practice?
And are you recognizing those loyal customers for all of that loyalty?
Are you taking time to repeatedly make them feel special?
Or are you just brushing them off while you go through the motions of your day?
Interestingly on this trip, because of its shortness of duration [it was only two days really], I shared my return flight home from Dallas with the exact same crew that had flown me out of Sydney into Dallas.
And boy were they attentive to me on both flights. It is nice to know that employees value their loyal customers, and take nothing for granted.
Customers recognise when this happens, but customers also recognise when they don’t feel appreciated.
Are your team members ensuring that your customers of your dental practice are feeling appreciated?
I certainly hope so…
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