Making a difference to a customer isn’t about big things. It sometime is just a really really small extra step to exceed customer expectations. Air New Zealand’s Drew made me realize that again.
After a 24h trip from Amsterdam via London and Singapore, I had landed at Sydney International Airport to spend another 4 hours waiting for my connecting (Economy) flight to Auckland, New Zealand, final destination. I was tired, cranky and jet-lagged and couldn’t wait to see my bed. A bed. Any bed.
And for whatever reason, the airplane was delayed and had a last-minute gate-switch (really annoying when you’re tired and not paying too much attention).
When I entered the plane, crew was waiting for the passengers (as usual). A somewhat older crew member asked for my ticket, looked at me and asked how he should pronounce my name, Polle. As most English-speakers pronounce my name as [Polly] (which is a brilliant name for a dog or a parrot, but nothing I’m particularly fond of) I replied [Paul]. He thanked me and I took my seat.
For the rest of the three hour flight from Sydney to Auckland, Drew did his normal routine. Drinks, meals, tax-free swag. But every now and then he would address one of the passengers by their first name. While his colleagues hadn’t even bothered to memorize names (nor did most of the other staff members on my previous flights), Drew looked like he owned the place. Chatting, making jokes, helping passengers and clearly having fun.
A simple thing as memorizing several random passenger names makes a huge difference.
Thanks, Drew, really. You made my day.
Drew, if you’re reading this: you should ask for a raise.
Colleagues of Drew, if you’re reading this: Drew should get a raise.