Dan Naden

@Southwest Air: Customer Can Do Attitude is THE rule

The orders come in like rain as the flight attendant pushes the bulky cart up the cramped aisle:

I’ll take a Coke.

I’ll have a Gin and Tonic.

Can I have a water?

Sprite, please.

Cranberry Juice, with no ice.

When hundreds of people place their orders, you wonder how things stay straight. How does 37C get water with no ice? Does 21B get Diet Coke? Will the older gentleman in seat 7a get his glass of Skim Milk?

On Southwest, they do things differently. And different is good.

On a recent Southwest flight, I placed my order for orange juice and dozed off for 15 minutes. (This happens when you have to be at the airport at 6am!) I awoke, and within minutes, the flight attendant, stopped by and pleasantly asked: “Are you ready for your orange juice now?”

I wiped the drool from my face and mumbled, “Yes”. The OJ arrived in seconds and I marveled at what just happened. Amazingly, I don’t recall seeing this young woman writing anything down as she collected drink orders from the sleepy fliers. Was this a lucky guess or did she employ some memory device to match me up with the orange juice?

Surely, there’s some magical waiter/waitress skill that gets strengthened over the years, allowing you to remember numerous orders within a 30 minute period. That’s certainly a skill that I don’t have.

Supposedly, the best waiters/waitresses in the world can serve a table of 20 without writing down one specific item requested during the course of the meal. Now, that’s remarkable memory.

The airline that LUVs already draws top marks for its customer service. It’s nice to see that they are doing everything they can to stay there.

I don’t fly Southwest very often, but this memorable customer-first moment may just change my flight pattern.

My only regret: Not saying WOW and a big thank you to this amazing flight attendant.

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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