we believe it takes an inspiring story to make people buy
2 companies renowned for great customer experience exercise freedom.
The staff is given freedom to treat the customer as a person.
As a customer it is not too much to ask for.
Mark Dickinson, was on a business trip in California when he learned the news about his grandson. He rushed to Los Angeles International Airport and arrived two hours early for his Southwest Airlines flight to Denver only to meet security lines were so long he was late for his flight.
Airport employees would not let him cut into the security line. After he got through security, he was so rushed, he grabbed his shoes and ran through the terminal in his socks.
When Dickinson arrived at his gate, he asked if the plane had left.
“They said, ‘Are you Mark Dickinson?’ And I said, ‘Yeah,'” Dickinson explained. “And they said, ‘Well, were holding the plane for you.'”
Dickinson said the pilot was standing by the jetway waiting for him, saying he was sorry for the loss of Dickinson’s grandson.
The pilot said, “They can’t go anywhere without me and I wasnt going anywhere without you. Now relax. Well get you there. And again, I’m so sorry.”
The corporate culture at Southwest allows employees more freedom to make snap decisions without fear of being suspended or fired.
“We empower our employees to make decisions on behalf of our customers,” McInnis said. “While we can’t wait for every late customer, we knew he had an extreme family emergency and the pilot specifically decided to wait.” – Marilee McInnis, a spokeswoman for Southwest Airlines.
It all starts with the motto, “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.”
In Dubai a waiter overheard a gentleman musing with his wife, who was in a wheelchair, that it was a shame he couldn’t get her down to the beach. The waiter told maintenance, who passed word, and the next afternoon there was a wooden walkway down the beach to a tent that was set up for them to have dinner in. That’s not out of the ordinary, and the general manager didn’t know about it until it was built.
We entrust every single Ritz-Carlton staff member, without approval from their general manager, to spend up to $2,000 on a guest. And that’s not per year. It’s per incident. When you say up to $2,000, suddenly somebody says, wow, this isn’t just about rebating a movie because your room was late, this is a really meaningful amount. It doesn’t get used much, but it displays a deep trust in our staff’s judgment. Frankly, they could go over that amount, with the general manager’s permission. – Simon F. Cooper, president of the Ritz Carlton Company.