I have had the chance to fly Alaska Airlines several times recently and find them to be better than average in terms of service provided by their people. (They have been voted the #1 US airline by travelers several years in a row.)
However, they did give me an opportunity to remind myself, and others, that we need to think before we blindly read a script.
I arrived in San Jose the other day on my Alaska Airlines flight. We were about an hour late due to “unavoidable” delays. As we approached the gate, the flight attendant made her gate arrival announcement. Included in that announcement was a corporate copywriter’s content noting that Alaska Airlines has the best on-time record of US airlines. Nice to hear, but who really cares when your flight is an hour late?
Had the flight attendant been thinking rather than just reading, she might have caught the irony and mentioned it. She didn’t … unfortunately.
Problems happen in all businesses. It’s what your front line people do when they happen that can make the real difference to your customers.