I am always amazed at how much I can learn from my Air Canada experiences. This time my trip to and from the UK was a great lesson in the impact that employees of any company can have. No matter what Mission Statement, or Core Values are espoused by a company’s executive team it is the people you deal with every day who define your company’s public persona!
At Air Canada the occasional smiling attendant can make a huge difference when you have to sit on a plane for a whole bunch of hours! If there are several smilers, as there were on my flight from Heathrow, then it is even better. However … the one arrogant, obnoxious overbearing idiot can undo all goodwill in a hurry!
So … here are some basic lessons to remember when dealing with your clients!
1. The customer is not always right, but they are always the customer.
2. You will get farther with a gentle conciliatory approach than with bluster!
3. Always keep a pleasant attitude, no matter what the circumstances. There is never any reason to become aggressive with a client.
4. Learn to apologise … even if you don’t feel you have done anything wrong! “I’m really sorry but would you mind …”!
5. Smile and enjoy what you do! It is a whole different attitude than someone who hates their job!
6. Work with your customers to solve their problems, there is usually an acceptable answer.
7. Make the customer feel important!
8. Never, never be nasty to a customer’s kids!!! (… and yes there is a good story there!)