I know this article is from almost a year ago, but the ideas are still valid. It is a Harvard Business Review article called: “Is Kindness a Strategy?” It is about how an American Airlines employee treated a customer (Frank) with kindness (read the article for his full story). The employee decided to help Frank, who was late for his flight. She made an extra effort to get him through security and onto his flight at the last-minute.
Ah, do you dream of that happening to you? Have you not wanted to go to the airport, have someone take your car and park it for you? You then go to security and get moved to the front of the line, walk to the gate and walk right on the plane, immediately they shut the doors and the plane takes off. There are no delays on the runway, and you are in the air and land on time. The plane goes immediately to your gate, you are at the front of the plane so you get off first, and someone has a car waiting for you when you get outside the airport. Is it a dream? Is it your reality? There are some that might valet their car, go through the First Class line in security, and go right on to the plane, but it is not the reality for most of us that fly the friendly skies.
I wish this could be the experience of all of us when we travel. Even though it is not, it does make me think about what is possible. Travel companies could definitely be more creative to find ways to WOW their customers. Which makes me think back to the title of the article: “Is Kindness a Strategy?” Maybe it should be. I agree with the author, American will now be Frank’s favorite airline. It would be mine, if I had Frank’s experience. What can travel companies do to make us more loyal? Surprise us. Give the upgrade when there are seats in First Class. Give a free rental car because they can tell we have had a rough day. Empower their employees to have more flexibility to make these types of decisions.
It may make a world of difference to their customers.