Key Advice Blog

Customer service above and beyond

Posted on: 27/07/2010

There is nothing like a trip abroad to experience the vast range of customer service in the travel industry – and draw comparisons. You can get everything from the brilliant to the beastly all within a few metres of each other. My trips to Canada usually involve a connection in Toronto with everything from several hours to minutes between flights! There is one thing that stands out – those companies and employees willing to go the extra mile delivering customer service.

Recently, faced with a 8 hour delay between flights, I booked (online) a spa time-out at the Sheraton Toronto Airport. When I arrived, after a delicious lunch service, I was met by a quizzical look from the check in staff saying the spa, which rented space from them was under new ownership and rennovations. I explained I had booked it via a link on their website, had received a confirmation and was disappointed. The young lady on staff quickly started calling neighbouring hotels, booked me into another (Delta) hotel’s spa and arranged free limo service for me. Now that’s above and beyond. 

Meanwhile, back in the airport, Thomas Cook staff showed me the other end of the customer service spectrum. I was refused the option to change my seat at check in, after being told that that is where I’d have to do it, when I asked upon departure. Staff told me I’d have to ask at the desk in the departures lounge. That woman rudely told me no. So after being bounced from one desk to another, even though I paid for my seat alocation, not only was I refused the option to change, I refused in a rude manner.

Perhaps they Thomas Cook ground staff need to walk across the road to the Sheraton check-in desk and see how it can be done. In the same amount of time, with the same amount of energy. And, now the Sheraton have a postive review on TripAdvisor, Facebook, Twitter and here.

It’s only a short trip from customer complaint to customer cudos – and it’s worth it.

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