For years I’ve taught customer service workshops. Sadly, I have way too many stories of crappy service. Every now and then I get a good one. And in fairness to service providers everywhere, I try to share them too. Here’s my latest.
I was searching for a decent fare and the right schedule for a trip to Bangkok. I was already crabby because of how expensive airfare has become. Last night I finally found a Delta flight that was going to work. Right schedule and good price, relative to everything else I’d found.
After completing all the online forms, including the credit card info, I got to what I thought was the last screen. Push the button and the tickets would be mine. Instead, I received a notice that the fare had changed. And not just a little. For two tickets the change would have cost us an extra $930.
First I was shocked. Then the anger started. I told Marie &!$#%#^* Delta was pulling a bait and switch move.
It was time to call Delta and talk to a human being. That’s what gave this story a chance for a happy ending.
Before I even placed the call, Marie reminded me that being angry wasn’t going to help. I agreed. I calmed down, picked up the phone and made the call.
Pam answered. I told her what happened. Immediately I could sense her empathy. She was connecting with my distress, and I was connecting with her kindness.
She was going to get to the bottom of this and went to work on the problem. First she tried all the tricks she had control over. No luck.
Then she called the Pricing Department. They told her to call Online Support. So she did. That led to some clues about what happened. Now to fix it.
She told me she would need to call Pricing again to see what they could do and if that didn’t work, she was going to speak with a supervisor. Pam had my back.
After 55 minutes of work, success. Pam read me the confirmation number for my purchase of the two tickets at the price quoted on the website.
Through it all she was friendly, tenacious, and empathetic. It turned out to be a fun conversation. Who would have guessed that?
Today, I had a chance to write Delta and share with them Pam’s story. I hope she’s recognized for her good work.
I’m glad I checked my anger before making the call. It created an opportunity to turn an ugly encounter with a computer into a exceptional encounter with a human being.
Image credit: Blue Pylons