Flight attendants are the last line of defense with the ability to change a bad service experience into a positive one for passengers. I watched many a passenger charge on-board, upset over one issue or another, and after carefully assessing them, and doing my best to listen to their needs, while continuing to provide top-notch service, they would leave our air bubble – more calm, with faith restored in our brand.
At least, that was my hope.
Honestly, a job in the travel industry was the best customer service training ground possible. Passengers can’t leave once they are on board, so you have little options but try to make the best of your time together.
After racking up a few million miles, these are the tips I gleaned on how to provide excellent customer service, flight attendant style. And they are effective skills that will work for all facets, whether you are a waitress in the sky, or a dog walker, or an ice-cream scooper at the local Dairy Queen, it all comes down to a few, simple tips.
#1 – First and foremost, don’t take anything personally
When Miss Shops-A-Lot rages on-board and demands that you fit her two-ton, over-sized gargantuan bag into the itty-bitty overhead compartment, announcing loudly, “The last time I flew, YOU lost my bag, so I am NOT checking it.” The key is to not take it personally.
She doesn’t literally blame you for her bag getting lost. You are simply part of the “process” that lost her bag. And since you are the one standing in front of her, she’ll take it out on you. Be prepared.
#2 – The Customer is ALWAYS Right
Understand, this isn’t always easy to take, but we all know, above and beyond, whether we like it or agree with it, the mantra remains, “The Customer is Always Right.”
Smile, Agree, Smile, Agree.
Even if your passengers aren’t willing to smile or agree back.
After all, smiles are free.
#3 – Find out what your passengers want – then deliver it
#4 – Refrain from “this isn’t my cabin” line
#5 – Remember to say thank you and ask for future business
Thank them for flying with you (or shopping with you, or recommending your company). They are your bread and butter, regardless of industry. Most importantly, it’s because of them that you have a job.
A simple “thank you” goes a long way. And, be sure they know what you want from them – their future business. If you don’t ask, they won’t know.
Do you have a particular customer service story to share? I’d love to hear about it.
Send me an email, or leave a note in the comments section.
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