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Leavin’ on a Jet Plane

Ticketing Sign in main terminal at Seattle (Sea-Tac) airport

A recent travel experience brought home to me just how impactful customer service can be in promoting one’s brand. In the interests of fairness and objectivity, I won’t use any names. I was on my way back from a business trip with a colleague, and we arrived at the airport in time to try and catch an earlier flight, although the timing was going to be very tight. In fact, we got to the airline counter after the official time when a change could be made, except at the actual departure gate. From the start, however, it was clear that the individual who was helping us would go above and beyond. Somehow she managed to get us on the earlier flight, and gave us guidance on the fastest way to get through security.

Off we scurried to the security line, where we moved through the ID check and on to the screening part. At that point, we heard a voice behind us calling out our names. It was our helpful service agent, tracking us down to inform us that the flight she had just switched us to was now delayed, so we didn’t need to hurry, and, if we wanted, she would switch us back to our original flight, which was still scheduled for an on-time departure.

It was a small gesture on the part of one individual that cost the airline no money, but has garnered immeasurable positive results in building brand loyalty with us. Not to mention the number of people to whom we have mentioned this experience and how impressed we were with this airline. So next time you’re wondering how to build your brand, remember that actions speak louder than words and consider the power of positive surprise. Each person in your organization is a brand ambassador, with the potential to positively (or negatively) affect your brand through the simplest action.