Yesterday, I took Philippines Airlines for the first time for a business trip to Manila from Singapore. What I saw touched my heart, and made me realize what customer service really is.
A baby was crying almost for an hour, and i could see the mother trying her best to calm the child down, to no avail. She looked frustrated and stressed, embarrassed. After serving the meals, an air stewardess approached the mother and asked to hold the child. She soothed the child, patting him on his back and calmed him down. It took quite a long time, and the baby fell asleep, and she returned him to a grateful and relieved mother.
I was observing the entire episode because I had requested for a drink from the same air stewardess. When I asked her again, she apologized and quickly got it. But I did not blame her; instead, I was impressed with the service from the heart. The care she gave to a fussing child and the relief to the mother was heartfelt and genuine. I gladly waited for her to ease the child before asking for my drink again.
I have taken airlines that won multiple awards for service, but I have seen none like that – service from the heart. You can win awards for excellent service by training your staff, establishing service protocols etc etc and have excellent service from robotic airline staff. The danger of ‘over-proceduring’ service can get the job done efficiently but it does not touch the heart.
As I stepped off the plane, I could not help but wonder, how do we reproduce customer service like that?
Some key questions to ponder in the quest to find the answer:
1. Does your company have a great culture?
2. Does your company have the right values?
3. Does your company have the right people – not just the competent ones, not just those who care about what they do, but those who care for others?
4. Does your organisation know, or care, or even realizes that your customers are human beings with needs, fears and wants?
Philippines Airlines, kudos to you!
I will take this airline again.