4 Customer Service Lessons From … An Airline?!

When it comes to the airline industry, there is so much negative stuff. How ’bout we share a positive airline piece on customer service and commitment? ?

Enjoy this outstanding customer service story from QBQ! reader, Spencer Werness, of the Twin Cities, Minnesota airport …

customer service, commitment, qbq, accountability, delta airlines

Spencer Is All About The Customer

John, I’m an agent for Delta Air Lines in Baggage Service, where few people tell you what a great job you’re doing. It’s the place where customers come to inform us their bag has been delayed, damaged, or taken by another passenger.

Recently, a “Medallion” frequent flier gentleman came to me during a busy evening to say his luggage was not on the carousel. When I looked it up I saw it was arriving on a flight after midnight. He said he had business at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, 75 miles south of the airport.

I handled his claim and apologized. Then he said, “Spencer, I need assurance from you that my bag is going to be at my hotel in Rochester tonight. What can you provide me?”

I replied, “You are looking at your assurance, Sir. Me.

“If your bag is still here at the airport when I get off work at 12:30 am, I will drive it down to you as I have for passengers before.”

The look on his face was a Kodak Moment. He said, “Well, okay then. Thank you.”

So, it turned out that his bag was still at the airport when my shift ended.

When I arrived at his hotel at 3:15 am, the front desk person said, “You must be Spencer! Mr. Newport said you’d be bringing his bag. He asked to be called when you arrived.”

At 3:15 in the morning?

Minutes later, my customer came down to thank me for being—in his words—“a man of my word.” I told him I grew up in a family that owned a successful funeral home and it was instilled into me that you only get one chance to do it right, so do it right the first time. A commitment made is a commitment met!

John, my joy in this job comes from being a servant to my customers. They are the ones who write my paycheck.

4 Outstanding Customer Service Lessons

Mr. Newport’s decision to get out of bed at that time of day to thank Spencer for his outstanding customer service speaks volumes about what Spencer’s actions meant to his customer, doesn’t it?

Let’s see, what exactly did Spencer teach us all?

  • Do the right thing the first time.
  • Honor commitments and promises.
  • Possess a servant’s heart.
  • Know who pays our bills.

These are the principles of outstanding customer service—and what the Outstanding! and QBQ! books are all about. Thanks to Spencer, it’s easy to see it is just this simple.

Comments always welcome. Do you have an outstanding customer service story to share? If so, post it here!


10 Responses

  1. I used to do training classes in hotels across the country. When I received top notch service I always made it a to-do to contact management before I left. It was sad to me that far more often than not, when I asked to speak to a person’s manager, there was always the “Oh no, what now” look from that manager. We all need to recognize good service just as often as “less than good” service.

  2. Great post, John!

    It just goes to show that every person working for a company can have a direct impact on how that company is viewed from the customer’s perspective.



  3. People like Spencer are inspiring, and have a priceless value to their employers and to everyone he comes in contact with. Thanks for sharing. Inspiring to me personally and professionally!

  4. Wow, both individuals in this story are winners! It’s not trivial that Spencer was taught personal responsibility and commitment from his family. Very cool to see lessons learned as a kid, working in the family business, that will be part of his character for the rest of his life!

  5. I wad meeting my brother at an airport Delta Lounge last week. When I went to get a draft beer, the server (Sevin) said the tap wasn’t working, but he was trying to figure it out. My brother and I sat down to talk in a deep corner of the lounge. A few minutes later, Sevin came up to let me know the tap was now working! He went way out of his way to serve!

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