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Chris LoCurto

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January 17, 2013

Customer Service At An Airport

January 17, 2013 | By | 18 Comments">18 Comments

Customer service is something that is vital to all business. And if you’re a follower of mine, you know that customer service is very important to me. I think it’s ridiculous for a leader to put so much time and effort into building a business, only to fail miserably with it’s customer service.

Cafe Intermezzo

In Know Your Product Already! I talk about one of the most frustrating things when it comes to customer service. Today, I want to share with you what good customer service looks like.

Recently I was at the Atlanta airport, with the amazing team who puts on Momentum, waiting to get home. If you’ve been there, then you know how insane that airport can be.

But for me, there’s a shining beacon in a little restaurant in Terminal B called Cafe Intermezzo. I found it a some time ago and I always trying to go there if I have a lay over. The food is great and they have incredible coffee bar.

This last time there, something special happened. I say special because it seems as though it’s unique nowadays. When our server Myescha asked me what I would like, I started by asking for a mocha. She then suggested that I have the Spanish Mokka because it’s even better.

As I looked at the ingredients, Spanish dark chocolate and Madagascar vanilla, I agreed. Ok, you have my attention Myescha!

Then she went on to explain the menu. She even suggested an item to be the best on the menu, the Chicken Duxelle Crepe, AND that she likes to add spinach to make it a little better.

As an entrepreneur, this stunned me! Here was a server, in an airport of all places, WHO KNOWS HER PRODUCT! On top of that, she’s smart enough to realize that her style of customer service is exactly what people want in a restaurant!

And it didn’t stop there. By the time she got to the far end of the table oposite me, I learned that they had a mushroom and brie “Soup of the Day”. I mentioned to the person across from me that I was going to get a cup. While talking to one of our team members at the other end of the table, she looked up and me and nodded. WHAT?!?! I so want to hire this gal!!

That, folks, is customer service done right. Something so small, but so unfound in most places these days. And to find it at an airport? It sure made my lay over considerably easier to deal with.

Question: What do you think of Myescha’s style of customer service? And what examples do you have?

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  • http://JaredLatigo.com/ Jared Latigo

    Awesome observation. Only a true leader would recognize such awesome service on this level though. Most people would just be happy that someone talked to them as they bought something. It’s interesting to see how low of a level of expectation we have for something like this. Thanks for sharing your insights, always great as usual Chris!

  • http://CorporateCultureRevolution.com/ Bob Winchester

    Great story as usual Chris! Pretty cool that you found that needle in such a big haystack!

    I love seeing great customer service! It is rare sometimes, so it’s great to shout it from the roof-top!!

  • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

    Love customer service stories like this! She really treated you like a guest which is what customer service is all about. I think what I find most amazing is that in spite of being attentive to the other end of the table in what had to be a very loud environment, she was still about to hear your comment about the soup and acknowledge it. Nice to know this kind of service is out there still. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jaselyn

    I live about an hour and a half away from the Denver airport, and this past weekend, I had a trip to Nashville. Instead of driving and then paying to park, I got a shuttle through a company called Greenride CO. On my trip back, my roommate was supposed to pick me up at the drop-off location near the local university, about 10 blocks away from where we live. Well, it turned out my roommate was running about an hour late, and so I was on the phone with her in the shuttle to figure it out, and ended up saying I would just walk home instead of wait for her, despite the below freezing weather and my large suitcase. The driver, Debbie, heard me, and asked where I live. When I told her, she said she would just drop me off at my house! (It’s an extra $15 onto the price of the ride to get dropped off at your door.) I had no cash with me to pay the difference, or even to leave a tip, but she said it was no problem. They may have lost $15 on me that day, but they gained a customer for life! (Or at least as long as I live in Northern CO. ^.^ )

  • http://twitter.com/Kentlapp Kent Lapp

    I have some customer service stories from Atl Airport also…but no good ones so I’ll hold on to them. :) Thanks for sharing.

    Oh and to you’re point about wanting to hire her, that totally can happen. Another reason it’s important to always bring your A-game, you never know who’s watching.

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    Wow! I love the fact that she was so attentive to detail and to her customers. Over the past year, I’ve seen Chick-Fil-A ramp up their customer service as they’ve actually had someone roaming the dining room to ask customers if they need refills or if they want an after lunch mint.

  • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

    It still didn’t convince me to fly through Atlanta. My eye starts to twitch a little when I think about that airport. However, what a great food post! I mean, customer service experience.

    A couple of nights ago, our hot tub went out. It was 7 PM in 10 degree Minnesota weather. It needed to be repaired ASAP or it would have frozen and cracked. My husband called around looking for spare parts. Very long story short, he found a repairman in Texas who told him exactly what to do. He crossed his fingers that the temperature would stay stable overnight, which it did and got the part first thing in the morning at a local retailer.

    Not only did the repair guy not get a dime for the advice, he also called back the next evening to find out if the fix had corrected the problem. I’ll find out where he works and recommend him to all my Texan friends.

    • http://CorporateCultureRevolution.com/ Bob Winchester

      He actually followed up? Wonder if he makes house calls to Missouri? Oh wait, I don’t have a hot tub…

  • http://jonahenry.com/ Jon Henry

    I was trying to picture this event in my mind. When you get to the part about the “Soup of the Day,” it suddenly started making sense. I think you got excellent service because you are so tall compared to your peers, the server had no other choice but to pay attention to you. You even wrote “she looked up at me” from the other end of the table. She had to look up at you on the other end of the table? That alone says height is involved. Just saying

    In all seriousness, awesome story, and even your height can’t diminish the fact that these experiences are rare.

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

      There’s a reason why we’re dubbed the Little LoCurtos

      • http://www.janabotkin.net/ Jana Botkin

        Teehee, Lily, I guess you and I could be called the LoCurtettes!

    • http://CorporateCultureRevolution.com/ Bob Winchester

      Bah!

  • http://www.janabotkin.net/ Jana Botkin

    Clearly remarkable, since you remarked on her service, and we are re-remarking on it!

    A zillion years ago I moved back home to Quaintsville driving a “foreign” car (Honda Accord). The brake light kept going out intermittently, and my parents had no idea who would work on “foreign” cars.

    I looked in the Yellow Pages and found “Foreign Auto”. It was on my way to work, so I stopped by. Of course the light was working, so the owner said to stop by any time it went out. On the 4th try, he found the problem, fixed it, and DIDN’T CHARGE ME!!

    He had only been open about a month when I found him back in 1983. Now I keep his business cards with me to hand to anyone who drives a “foreign” car (he only works on Honda, Toyota and Nissan and their offspring luxury brands). I’m on my 4th Accord and wouldn’t dream of driving a car that he doesn’t work on.

    We have become such friends that he even lends me his truck to go do errands if the wait is going to be lengthy. I could go on and on with stories about the legendary service of Foreign Auto, but this is not a guest post. 8-)

  • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ Joel Fortner

    What do I think? She’s superb and unusual especially for restaurants where people are simply at their J-O-B.

  • MrTravisScott

    Great Story! Typicly we only hear about negative customr service stories!

    Luckily I learned great customer service at a young age. My dad is a dentist and every night before he left the office he would call any patients who he thought had a difficult procedure just to see how they were doing.

    Needless to say, he built a thriving practice and still gets patients from 100+ miles away.

  • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

    Nice!

    It’s amazing that when these things happen, we feel compelled to write about them.

    We don’t write about the things that regularly happen. We write about the extraordinary. When someone made us cry, made us angry, made us exceptionally happy or impressed us.

    The sad, in a way, thing is that this fell into the extraordinarily impressive category.

  • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

    Great example of great service! Unfortunately, you’re right that it’s unique. We have a Mexican restaurant here in OKC called Teds, and it has fantastic service. It’s one of those that you have to wait a while to get in (20+ minutes), but it’s okay because it’s just that good. There are free chips, flour tortillas, salsa, and queso cheese – and these are refilled quickly (sometimes before you finish the one you’re on). It’s one of our favorite places to eat at.

  • http://www.ericdingler.com/ Eric Dingler

    For two weeks now I can’t stop thinking about an amazing and unexpected amazing costumer service experience. We had to have a water softener and small treatment system added to our house. Our well developed Sulfar Bacteria with no way to get rid of it long term. Two weeks ago was the first time we had to order more salt. I wasn’t looking forward to carrying 15 bags of salt at 50 pounds each from our garage to our basement. The Culligan guy delivered the salt while I was at work. I return home to the pleasant surprise he carried the bags to the basement for me. I went to the basement and found them stacked very neatly next to the softener. I opened the salt bin to add salt and found that he had filled the bin for me!!! I couldn’t tell until I opened the bin because he had taking the empty bags with him…PLUS FIVE OTHERS I HAD THERE I HAD BEEN TO LAZY TO THROW OUT YET. WOW, simply amazing in today’s world.