Monthly Archives: February 2009

American Pie – When Everything Goes Wrong.

Loris Diner, San Francisco Airport I think I’ve said before San Francisco happens to be one of my very favorite places in the world. I’ve been here for a few days now running web workshops and just have to pass on a relevant brand related story, about one of the worst but actually best experiences I’ve had in a long time. I was due to fly to Denver out of SFO, I was on an 8.45 morning departure and arrived two hours prior, knowing what US security can be like. I was booked with one of the major US Airlines and made my way to the check in area. The lines (when in America I never use the term queue for American political correctness) were horrendous, stretching way back. I smiled knowing that with my my Star Alliance Gold card check-in would give me a speedy passage. I showed my reservation to one of the attendants and asked where my particular check-in was, and he replied ‘ right here buddy, with everyone else’. There must have been over 100 people in the ‘elite’ check-in, and this particular airline had only 3 check in staff that day. 30 minutes later I’d fought my way to the front of the line and handed over the print out of my reservation. The lady behind the desk, who bore a striking resemblance to an American version of Margaret Thatcher in her prime, told me ‘You’re at the wrong airline desk, next please’. ‘But I can’t be’ I replied, ‘Look at the Airline reservation it’s your airline’. Now with a just a hint of a smile she replied ‘Code share. It’s our route but operated by our partner airline. You better get over there – you’re gonna be late’. I ran to the next terminal and found the check in. The queue (forget political correctness) despite my gold card was even worse. Another 45 minutes go by and I’m finally checked in and now in the line (line actually doesn’t do it justice – it was a herd of miserable, sweaty humanity). Get through and now have just 5 minutes to dash to the gate (starving but forget breakfast), which is a fair distance through the terminal. I arrive and discover the flight has been overbooked by 20 people and due to the fact that I’m late (I’m late!) I’ve been bumped. I stood at the desk, simmering, ready to explode. I tried to tell them the torture I’d been put through at their hands. I was ready to unleash all sorts of threats on them – anything I could think of. I’d never fly with them again. I’d write a letter to their President. In fact I’d write a letter to THE President. He seems like he wants to sort out America’s problems – well this is a problem. Then it happened. One of the airline ladies behind the desk came over and appeared genuinely sorry for what I’d been through and the way I’d been treated. ‘I’m personally going to do whatever I can to sort this out’, she said. For the next 15 minutes she checked every possible departure until she found really great connections, made phone calls, fixed ticketing issues. She finally booked me onto another flight. In the process she upgraded me for my trouble. To round it out she even gave me vouchers for breakfast. I made for the diner to write this blog. js-pic.tiff The point is this. More than ever today companies need brands to deliver really great experiences and a huge part of that is genuine customer service. That one lady changed my view of her airline and convinced me that at least some of their people were trying. It’s people that make the difference you see. Most brands, and certainly in the business to business sector nearly all brands, rely on their people as the primary brand carriers. Companies need to invest and commit to their people like never before. It’s something we help our clients with at Dowell Stubbs and Gyro through our Brand Engagement program and it’s something I’m seeing the value of even more in these dark economic times. If you’re own people aren’t fully on brand – forget the advertising campaigns. It isn’t going to work. Discount Discount Order Windows 7 Ultimate Windows 7 Ultimate Order Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection Discount Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection Order Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus Cheap Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus

Don't worry, be happy…let it snow…

I was stranded for a day in the UK on Monday, and saw first-hand London in ‘crisis’. I’m not talking about the current economic woes, but…snow. Now living in Sweden I’ve become pretty comfortable with large amounts of the cold, white stuff, and being in London on Monday, came as a bit of a shock. I’d forgotten how badly organised we Brits can be sometimes. The whole city, ten million people, came to a grinding halt, despite several days warning of cold weather. London Mayor Boris Johnson made a wonderful TV appearance early Monday morning to calm the nations capital. In a reference to the last great snowfall Britain had had 19 years earlier, when the nations entire train system was brought to its knees by ‘the wrong sort of snow’ (what’s the right sort?) Boris said ‘well, this time it’s the right sort of snow, just too much of it’! What can you say… However I have to admit London was at it’s charming best. A sort of ‘Dunkirk spirit’ prevailed with people saying things like ‘never mind, have a cup of tea, it’ll all be alright’ etc. and grown adults in the streets were having snowball fights. It made me think. I had the distinct impression that people are sick and tired of thinking about the world’s current economic worries and recession, and simply wanted a day off to enjoy themselves again! Enjoying ourselves is what gives us a feeling of real living, and when people feel that they tend to spend money. Not a bad thing at the moment. Buy Windows 7 Ultimate Buy Windows 7 Ultimate Discount Discount Cheap Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection Discount Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection Cheap Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus Buy Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus Cheap Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus