Thursday, April 7, 2011

How to Earn a Customer's Loyalty

Sunday night, I was flying up to Boston from Austin on US Airways. Not my favorite airline by a longshot but they are reasonably priced and my last few experiences with them have been decent. Anyway, they had wifi on my leg from Charlotte, NC (one of their major hubs) up to Boston. Because it was only an hour and a half, I decided not to pay for the wifi. However, GoGoInflight is running a special right now where they are giving away free Twitter access during April.

As we got closer to Boston I started wondering how close to on time my midnight arrival would be. Given the fact that my Twitter friends are usually up all hours of the night and always very helpful, I thought I'd ask if they might be able to look up my flight status. Of course, I was right and I immediately got several helpful responses. But it was one person in particular -- an employee at a competing airline -- who was kind enough to look for me that really impressed me.

So why was I so enamored with this occurrence? Because with nothing to gain, this person went above and beyond to give me information I needed, when I needed it. If more companies took this approach, there is no doubt in my mind that businesses would win over a lot of new customers. At the end of the day, being helpful is always appreciated, especially when there is no apparent ulterior motive.

Have you ever had this happen to you? If so, share your story in the comments.

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