Is your team in synch?

United2 I promise, this is the last blog post squeezed out of the recent DC trip.  I can't help it…it was a fruitful couple of days.

I'm in O'Hare, waiting to board the flight to DC.  It's about 5 minutes before boarding and the first officer (or co-captain — whichever is correct) came up from the jetway.  He spoke to the gate agent and she handed him the mic. 

Speaking very clearly and with great enthusiasm, he introduced himself, told us who our Captain was going to be and that they were all very excited about welcoming us on board flight XYZ.  It was their pleasure to get us safely and comfortably to DC. 

With that, he handed the mic back and headed down the jetway.  He was genuine, having fun and everyone seemed to perk up a bit at his welcome.

I was impressed.

When we boarded the plane, the flight attendants didn't just keep repeating the same old "welcome on board" to each passenger.  They went out of their way to have mini conversations or compliment someone's jewelry or crack a joke.  I was one of the first on board, so I sat and watched them connect with just about every person who stepped on board.

Again, I was impressed.

When we were about 30 minutes from touching down in DC, the flight attendant came by and handed me a business card. (As she did with all the others) I looked…and it was the Captain's business card.  He had hand-written me a note that said "Thank you for flying on United!  How can we earn more of your business?"  On the flip side of his card were his direct dial office phone number and his e-mail address.  Holy cow!

Again, I was impressed.

Any one of these gestures would have caught my attention.  And each one, independent of the others, would have made me feel valued as a customer and reinforced my loyalty to United.  But look at the incredible impact this Captain and his entire crew had on the passengers of that flight by having the entire team focus on a single goal. 

I can't imagine a single passenger got off that flight without feeling like the crew truly appreciated their business and was happy to have them on board. 

In an age where the airlines are all fighting to survive, I would want to have Captain John McFadden and his crew flying for me!  Wouldn't you?

How could your team be like Capt McFadden's?  What would it take for you to get them all focused on the same goal and working in concert like they did?

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16 comments on “Is your team in synch?

  1. Daniel says:

    You might at least have mentioned the name of the airline in the body of the post. I had to work my way through the tags to discover it was United.

    Great anecdote, by the way.

  2. Fantastic example of customer service. However, would it sour your experience if you flew United again and the same treatment wasn’t done again? I’m of the opinion that you can’t have one level of service on one flight and then drastically reduce it on another.

    What are your thoughts on this Drew?

  3. Fantastic example of customer service. However, would it sour your experience if you flew United again and the same treatment wasn’t done again? I’m of the opinion that you can’t have one level of service on one flight and then drastically reduce it on another.

    What are your thoughts on this Drew?

  4. Life is just a series of trying to make up your mind.

  5. Here’s another example of a great experience on a Continental flight I took in 2008. Amazing how far a little bit of “extra oomph” can get you!

    http://www.overcomepowerfulfailures.com/2008/03/thank-you-judy-mcclure.html

  6. Tracy says:

    I’ve had a similarly great experience on a Frontier flight. The Captain was the one who greeted folks as they come on the plane because the attendants were all busy helping people get settled. They were very personable and friendly. It wasn’t until the ever annoying safety talk that I started to pay real attention to what they were doing. It was like comedic improv with slapstick flight attendants. They had us laughing and paying more attention to emergency exits than I ever had in the past.

    Throughout the flight they would randomly get on the intercom and read a poem or tell a joke. When he landed 4 hours later they were still at the top of their game and sent us on our way with an actual song about how much they loved to serve us and we hope we fly with them again.

    I walked right off that plane actually thinking and planning when I could go back to Denver. It was great! This happened about 6 years ago and it’s still fresh in my mind. If every flight could be like that one, the airline industry wouldn’t have any problems filling their seats.

  7. Having been in sales for over 40 years, I have noticed lately an increase in civility among companies serving the public including retail clerks. Being the cynic that I am, my question is “Sure, be nice to us now that you are struggling but how will you act when times are good and business is flying high?”. Where were these nice, friendly people when you standed in line to get waited on? I am not very impressed yet. We shall see.

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  9. It’s a good example of how one employee can start changing the perception of an entire airline

    Read more examples on my blog at http://brandinnovator.blogspot.com/2007/09/how-one-employee-is-changing-perception.html

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  12. buy viagra says:

    congratulation great question to create a blog Is your team in synch? thanks for sharing!!!!!!!

  13. thanks! i was most impressed.

  14. cheap viagra says:

    I’m also very impressed :O

  15. Amazing example, thank you

  16. I wanna fly this company now. Forget the rest. I am amazed of all you say. Wow.

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