I signed up for Jefferey Gitomer's Sales Caffeine in 2003. Every Tuesday I receive the weekly version from Mr. Gitomer. If you are not familiar with Jeffrey Gitomer, I suggest you Google him and go to his website and sign up for his weekly column. They say nothing is free but his weekly column is free! It is full of useful nuggets, just like the useful nugget I refer to in this blog post. The title of this week's column was, "All Airlines are the Same, Except for Their People". I would like to use the basis of this article to set up my latest blog.
Jeffrey Gitomer is a sales guru who writes about sales and how to be successful in sales. While there are millions of techniques out there and million or more articles written about the subject, it really comes down to value and customer service. I'm pretty sure Mr. Gitomer would agree with my statement. If you have no value to offer, why would someone want to purchase your product? If you or the company you represent offers poor customer service, why would someone want to do business with you/the company you represent? I have mentioned this before... Everyone wants their life to be easier. If you can offer great value and awesome customer service, why would anyone want to buy your product elsewhere? This all sounds very simple yet there are many companies that struggle in both areas. In another article I mentioned how Chic-fil-A is successful in offering awesome customer service and value. Mr. Gitomer writes about an excellent customer service experience he has with the airline industry. The airline he writes about is Alaska Airlines. This is an industry that doesn't carry the best reputation for excellent customer service. It is a tough industry but one that can take notes from the Alaska Airline(s) of the world.
Mr. Gitomer speaks about his experience with Alaska Airlines. He talks about being shocked to find that the employees are smiling, laughing, helpful and friendly. He goes as far to call the employees amazing!! This, folks is the joy one will experience from excellent customer service! He goes on to ask the employees what were the hiring criteria? He is surprised to learn that these employees were hand-picked Delta employees who were retrained to the Alaska Airline standards. The employees go on to tell Mr. Gitomer that they were trained to greet and treat customers in a different way. They were trained to... smile, chat, be friendly, thank the customer as they look them in the eye, and avoid the use of phrases like "policy" and "all-set". Mr. Gitomer found the flight attendants matched the service level that he experienced with the ticket agents.
What made Alaska airlines different? This is what a 10 year Alaska Airline employee shared with Mr. Gitomer regarding their hiring and training processes:
They seek to find the BEST people possible when hiring.
They rely on face-to-face interviews, asking questions and going with gut feelings. There are no personality test or IQ test.
They seek to hire people they believe will work hard. People who will go beyond what is expected of them.
They seek to find people who will take ownership. People who are caring and friendly.
They select passionate people. Those who show that they love what they do.
They don't just train front-line employees, they train ALL employees. They want the attitude of their employees to be consistent throughout their organization. This creates an environment in which employees are happy internally and it shows externally, to their customers. The results are all shareholders are happy!
At United Seal & Rubber, we have built our 40 year reputation on excellent customer service. It starts with our owners, both who have been involved since day one. It is our commitment to ISO9001 and AS9100 standards that ensures our Quality Management System has processes in place to provide excellent customer service and quality at a high level. We value our customers and strive to make their life just a bit easier. If you are a customer, we thank you for your business. If you are not a customer, we invite you to allow us the opportunity to service you... REQUEST FOR QUOTE .