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A midlevel marketing manager recently flew to London on British Airways. The flight was to land at Heathrow Airport, but a labor dispute on the ground diverted the plane, which circled awhile, then landed at another airport, then sat on the runway, then took off again and landed at Heathrow. The delay chewed up about 90 minutes.
Amazingly, the marketing manager was favorably impressed. She liked how the plane’s captain announced the problems by coming back to the cabin and telling the passengers in person what was going on. He did that five times during the delay.
“I could feel the impact of the captain’s action in the plane cabin,” the marketing manager says. “People were obviously calmed. He demonstrated his understanding that the passengers deserved both an explanation and his help in adapting to the delay. I was impressed by his leadership.”
Lesson: Customer service extends well beyond the customer service department.