This afternoon I was flying out of Asheville (@flyavlnow) to Oklahoma City. Our outbound flight was delayed due to mechanical trouble; if you fly enough it happens.
I was disturbed, though, when the gate agent, who was in her own awkward way diligently making sure folks were backed up on connections, began barking out our last names. Kind of like your Marine Drill Instructor meets your dental hygenist: BAER! SMITH!
As is my custom I tweeted about it. Well to my astonishment I receive an almost immediate Direct Message from the Asheville airport team. They wanted to know who this agent was so they could address it. Then another DM: can you meet us so we can thank you and give you a gift? I don’t particularly need a gift (although I will wear my AVL airport tshirt with pride) but I went to meet them. Amy from the marketing team was there and thanked me for the feedback and told me how much they are committed to making customer service at the airport the best there is. Now keep in mind that the gate agent doesn’t report to the airport but to the airline. Nevertheless they intend to
“encourage” more professional service.
I’ve been thinking about this the entire flight. Fast, attentive, creative, and strategic use of social media. It wasn’t advertising. It was taking real time data and actually doing something about it. A sort of customer service flash mob. There are a ton of applications to our own businesses don’t you think?