I had the opportunity to work in North Dakota last week. I was so far north that Montana and Canada were a few miles away. It took a full day of travel to get there and a full day to get home. The people there were fantastic and I enjoyed speaking to the Williston Chamber of Commerce about Extreme Customer Service. I decided to attempt to notice the customer service on my trip.

The Good – I left Philadelphia and flew to Denver. I always appreciate security but worry about getting pulled out for an inspection. Here we go…. they stopped me and patted me down and took my computer for testing. It only took a few minutes and the TSA was helpful. Airport staff was overly friendly and helpful. Up, up and away and four hours later I arrive in Denver, Colorado. A three hour lay over sent me to a new pub in the airport where I sat overlooking the Rocky Mountains and enjoyed a delicious smoked salmon salad. The waitress had impeccable customer service skills, she was kind, swift and accommodating. I boarded the plane to Williston and literally felt like I was on a jumping gym and the air conditioning was minimal, at best. Turbulence! The attendant could not do enough for us to keep us calm and smile, smile, smile. The minute she could walk down the aisle she brought us all water.

The Bad – When planning for my trip home, I went down to the desk at the hotel to print out my boarding passes. The front desk clerk told me that their customer printer was broken but she could print the passes int

ernally for me if I emailed them to her. The manager then reassures me about the cab telling me that if I have any issues tomorrow morning, have my front desk clerk call the him on his cell. I remind him that I’m leaving at 4:00am and he tells me that should be fine. The next morning, I arrive at the desk at 4:00am. The clerk tells me that she can’t confirm my cab ride. I have a 6:00am flight so I need to solve this problem. The clerk tells

me to call the cab company, so I did.…no answer. I tell her to call her boss, and she gives me a look that says, ‘no way.’ Now it’s 4:30am, I’m thinking I’m going to miss my plane and a low and behold a big, black 4 wheel jacked up truck with a sign that says, CAB, shows up. When I go outside, he asked me if I’m going to the airport and I tell him that I am but that this isn’t the cab company I called. He tells me that they couldn’t make it and that I should get in. With no help from him, I haul my suitcase and myself up into this truck and hope for the best. He never moved to help me, but I did make it on time to the airport.

The Ugly – when I arrived in Minneapolis on the way home, I sat down at a bar for breakfast and noticed the bartender was literally running up and down the bar with a very mad face. He was beyond ticked off and I watched him run up and down scowling, huffing, and puffing. I waited and waited and finally he came up to me, handed me a menu and said, “I’ll be right back.” He came back 15 minutes later to take my order and then another bartender showed up. He says hello to my server but by this time whatever is bothering him is has escalated and he loudly says, “I don’t care, I hate this #$%& place. They are going to pay for this!” OMG, out of control and threatening in front of customers.


Customer Service Tip #1
When things go wrong, make the best of it, and as the song says, “put on a happy face

Customer Service Tip #2
When you have to depend on other people to help you, especially when traveling, make your plans as early as possible because so much can go wrong – help the people who are serving you to get the job done.

Customer Service Tip #3
If you are mad at your boss or employer and you take it out on your customers, (I call it misplaced anger) turn your personal anger into action and energy. You will lose in the long run because the customer rules, no tip, bad review or maybe even I will never go there again.

My experience with the Williston Chamber was over the top EXTREME CUSTOMER SERVICE. They could not do enough to make me feel comfortable. Maybe we could all take a lesson from Williston Chamber of Commerce in Williston North Dakota, when things went wrong (computers) they just fixed it!

Carol is a Motivational Speaker, Executive Coach, Fundraising Strategist, Social Media Quarterback and Small Business Advisor. One of the Lehigh Valley’s most sought after consultants who assists organizations with results driven growth. Her strategies can be easily adapted to a for profit or non-profit environment. Carol specializes in high impact leadership, million dollar fundraising, smash the box marketing, and creating word of mouth epidemics for her clients. Visit Carol’s website at www.caroltalks.com and “LIKE” Carol at Caroltalks on Facebook. Carol S. Ritter, Past President, National Speakers Association Philadelphia and past board chair for St. Luke’s University Hospital Visiting Nurses Association & Hospice.

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