During our 2007 travels we have experienced many different levels of service. We thought it was timely to mention the stand out ones we have been lucky enough to experience during the year.
Hilton Metropole – NEC Birmingham
Needing some urgent printing (only 3 pages), business centre closed, reception busy, already checked out, no cash to hand. In desperation speak to the concierge, who with a smile, takes the memory stick to a public computer provides a 15 minute chargeable pass and prints the pages. All free of charge.
PC World – London
An elderly lady in a little distress overheard asking is there are any public toilets? Told no, but would she like to use the staff toilet. Huge smile appears on face as she is taken into the back of the store.
Virgin Atlantic – 30,00ft somewhere
A crew member overheard a couple grumbling about not being able to sit together at the start of a special holiday. The plane was full and she apologised. I offered to swap seats which were gladly taken up by the couple. On leaving the plane the crew member stopped me and said she had added 5,000 air miles to my account for helping out.
South West Trains – Farnborough Station
Arriving at the last minute ticketless with queues at the ticket machine and office the train pulls into the station. A platform guard sees the problem, opens the barrier, asks the train guard to wait a second and tells him to sell me a ticket on the train.
What all these examples have in common is people showing initiative, sometimes breaking rules, but always thinking of the customer through sensitive application of empathy. These people are not Jobsworths but individuals applying humanity to their work.
What would be really interesting would be to examine whether their behaviour is a reflection of the particular companys’ culture, or simply an individual made of the right stuff doing something special.