This week, I’m attending my first professional conference, Pub Con. Now that I’ve been out of school for a year and a half, and most of my learning occurs on the job, this conference will be refreshing. Hopefully it will give me a new perspective on all the things I’ve been learning at my new job.
I’m writing this as I am flying to Vegas via Southwest Airlines. I just finished flipping through the Spirit Magazine (make a mental note to self to check out Alice.com), and I was just thinking how much I enjoy flying on Southwest Although the planes aren’t new and fancy and equipped with wi-fi, I would still choose to fly on Southwest over any other airline. It’s just the small things that the employees do for their customers, like fishing my boarding pass out of the check-in machine when it gets stuck (and with a smile :) ) and turning on the reading light for me when they see me reading Spirit Magazine right before takeoff (make a mental note to tweet thank you to Southwest).
Great customer service seems like such a simple strategy to implement. Yet, so many companies get it wrong. I can name a few companies off the top of my head that get it: Southwest, Nordstrom, Zappos (although I have yet to experience Zappos), and Amazon. I would have to say that, although I’ve worked at Nordstrom, the only company in my experience that has truly been consistent with providing excellent customer service is Southwest. It’s a culture that has been instilled in their management and their employees, and one that customers have become familiar with. It’s the little things that add up, like not having to pay to check in my luggage, no questions asked should I need to change or cancel a reservation (with the full amount refunded or credited to my account, might I add), the Rapid Rewards program, the mystery of how their employees are never grumpy, the songs they sing to me on my flight, etc. Thank you Southwest Airlines, for meeting my high expectations of you every single time I fly, and for providing stability in my otherwise crazy hectic life. I was a frequent flyer when I needed to travel between UC Berkeley and home (in Los Angeles) every month. And now that I’m out of college and in the “real” world, Southwest will continue to be my #1 choice airlines. Sorry Virgin America. Your fluorescent lighting, individual tv monitors w/your movies/tv shows/music, and your wi-fi equipped airlplanes can’t lure me away from Southwest.
P.S. I’m sure you would have asked the annoying couple behind me to shut the hell up, had I asked.