Service Recovery

Handling an irate passenger

Airplane

Recently  I was on a flight in the Caribbean and witnessed an incident involving a non-Caribbean family and a Flight Attendant. I observed how it was handled and will share some pointers on what could have been done differently to ensure the situation did not escalate. 

The passenger boarded at the rear of the plane with his family, which included small children. My attention was called to them when I heard the passenger shout “how many times do I have to show them? I just showed the man down there!!”

Apparently, he was irate at having to again show his boarding pass, which he had already shown the airport security personnel at the bottom of the stairs. The Flight Attendant’s voice became somewhat raised as she asked the gentleman again for the passes, which had the seat assignments on them. During this time, other passengers were waiting to board and  some of those already on board were waiting to use the washroom. The incident continued for what I would consider longer than acceptable. 

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Responsiveness

One of the five dimensions of the SERVQUAL model of Service Quality is Responsiveness. The usual explanation of this dimension is “the willingness to help customers and to provide prompt service,” suggesting that it is applicable to a real time service experience. After an incident at the supermarket one day, I chose to test their degree of Responsiveness over 24 hours.

At the cashier check out station near to closing time, she tried every code she could and none worked for the Sunflower Seeds I had picked up. She left the station, went to look at other packs, spoke with another employee, then came back and apologized, saying she could not sell it because the code was not in the machine.

I had to go back into that supermarket the next day, so decided to test their responsiveness by picking up the Sunflower Seeds again. Success! I was a happy customer. 

Imagine if the cashier on the first night had passed on the issue, and the responsible person did not take action. Of if the cashier did not pass on the problem at all. The customer would have noticed it. The challenge of leaders is to let each employee see how their action directly impacts on service. On this occasion, there was a positive outcome. When I next see her, I will definitely congratulate her on the action she took. 

What are you doing to ensure that your employees are responsive?

Service Recovery

I first heard this terminology while doing my Masters at the University of Surrey in the UK. That, and Service Failure. Since then, I have tried to observe situations where there was Service Failure, and what Service Recovery took place. Recently, I tried out a Shellac manicure for only the second time in my life. In fact, I have probably done about 15 or so manicures EVER! It was my birth month and I wanted to treat myself. One of the deterrents to doing manicures is that you are at its mercy until the varnish dries. Very unproductive in my opinion.

The draw to the Shellac is that it promises to last 14+ days. Persons I know have tried it and swear by it. Well, it looked pretty for sure, but by day 3 or so, some nails started to peel. Service Failure. 

Pretty lavender

Pretty lavender

Day 5

Day 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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