Paul Dunn: What Makes For “Wow” Customer Service

December 30, 2011 · Posted in Business · Comment 

Have you ever been a receiver of awful customer service? Did you want to damn the company, only to shift your opinion after and wish to congratulate them alternatively?

I had this experience once, and deplorably, with the carrier I use when oftentimes traveling overseas. But my vary of heart had nothing to do with the manner the business developed their flying systems, or the gracious people behind the counter, or the baggage handlers, pilots, and Flight Attendants nor the food dished.

My opinion changed because of one gentlewoman who did nothing but listen well, and listen some more. She has linked me to the business in a manner I never before had known and thought realizable.

A phone call I took in one day started the shift on my impression. Here’s how it went:

“Hello Mr. Dunn, thank you for taking my call. The CEO of (business), has asked me to give you a call it’s about the blog you wrote about us. Oh, my name’s Abbie one of the Customer Care Analysts at (company). Our CEO was wondering if you could take some time just to go a little deeper on your experiences so we can learn something about what’s happened and take steps to put it right. (CEO’s name) has asked me to take lots of notes so if that’s OK, Mr. Dunn, can we take that time now?”

How easy and impressive is that? When she first noted the business I was preparing myself to hear “we are lodging a libel case against you for the blog you wrote about us!”

As their regular flyer, I felt that her words and the manner these were spoken came crucially correct for the good 50 minutes–yes–50 full minutes we were speaking. She never once wore a defensive tone or tried to rationalise the reason for my damaging experience with their company.

Her response was always in gracious words each time I stated something. It was either:

“Oh, I truly apologize that was your experience…”


“Oh, may you please tell me some more about that?”


“So let me just check Mr. Dunn so that I’m clear… You’re saying it s a cultural thing. And it would be great if, like the other airlines you’ve cited, we started referring to and thinking of passengers NOT as passengers or even customers but as ‘guests.’”

In customer service, a fantastic, gentle voice, and a lively, tenderhearted conversation can mean a big difference. After speaking to her, I almost wanted to step on their plane there and then.

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