Great service doesn’t come from short term initiatives where staff are encouraged to behave in a different way. Yes, it might result in a short term improvement, but it’s unlikely to be sustainable.
Sustainable improvements come when people are expected to behave in the right way, day in and day out. They’re not expected to behave differently, but to behave right. It’s not a fad or a new idea, it’s just what is expected, “the way we do things”.
When the bar is set high, members of staff take pride in delighting their customers, and they expect their colleagues to do the same, then you know it’s real. From a customer’s perspective it will feel real too!
On a recent flight I, along with all the other passengers, was presented sweets to assist with the pressure equalisation on landing. The idea is not novel, lots of airlines do it, what was novel however was the delivery…
Firstly, rather than generic boiled sweets, we were presented with a gift of “Love Hearts”; sweets that everyone recognised and could relate to in some way. In themselves they made the gesture more meaningful and memorable.
Secondly, the gift appeared to be given with real pleasure. It was accompanied with a smile that seemed to reflect and amplify the reactions of the recipients. The simple act of distributing the Love Hearts seemed to mean something to the giver despite the fact they must repeat the act hundreds of times every day.
Overall it gave the impression that the airline takes real delight in their customer’s delight, that they cared. A simple idea has been planned and executed all the way through to derive maximum benefit for all. It would have been so easy for the delivery to be half-hearted, tacky, meaningless.
How often do we have ideas that fall short because of lack of conviction on delivery? The idea should be the difficult bit. Execution should be simple, but is so often lacking.