Businesses can provide exceptional customer experiences when they put themselves in the world of the customer.
Recently I travelled to the US to deliver a course and had two connecting flights in Sydney and Hawaii before reaching the final destination in Seattle.
While I checked in, the airline staff member discovered I did not have a visa for entry to the US. I had recently received a new passport and completely forgot to apply for one.
This was not the airline’s fault, it was mine. Rather than dismissing me, the staff member offered to hold my bag while I moved off the queue to apply for the visa. Knowing the visa can take up to 72 hours to approve and with courses to run in Seattle, it was quite worrying.
The staff member then booked and held a flight for me for the next day in anticipation for the visa approval to come through, he then asked me to go and relax in the lounge and would keep checking for the approval.
They did not have to do any of this, I was at fault and yet the staff member got into the world of me and delivered a 10/10 experience.
I flew to Sydney and by the time I had landed, the visa had been approved. What a relief.
I then continued to Hawaii and connected to Seattle on a separate airline. It was one of those flights where you sit on the plane for 2 hours. There was a problem with baggage and we received minimal updates.
Upon arrival in Seattle, we were informed that some of the bags did not arrive with our flight and about 50 people were affected. We would only know once the baggage carousel had delivered all of the bags. I discovered I was 1 of 50.
I waited in a long line to report my missing bag and moved on to the hotel. For the next day, I kept checking back and forth between Hawaii and Seattle on the progress. Unable to sleep and unsure if I needed to purchase new clothes, my bag arrived at 1am the next day.
This airline followed the systems and procedures and I had to chase every bit of information for the progress on my bag. They did not get into my world or put themselves in my shoes, it was a frustrating experience and when I flew back to Hawaii, I deliberately chose another airline.
One of the things I enjoy seeing is staff members who are given the freedom to inject their personality into their work rather than go through the motions. It makes a world of difference and creates those moments for the customer to have a 10/10 experience. The first airline was completely in the world of me, it made such a difference.
Get your aces in the right places. Put your best people in the frontline to deliver the 10/10 experience for your customers. These are the people who will create those moments most talked about.