Customer Complaints, an Opportunity for Exceptional Service

Last Saturday I had an early flight from JFK to Phoenix on JetBlue.
Since it is about 2 hour drive to the airport in good traffic, I always allow extra time, but this day it was clear sailing and I arrived early. As I entered the terminal I attempted to check in at the Kiosk by scanning the barcode that I printed out. The message on the screen was that my reservation could not be found. Having used the process many times in the past I tried again using my name and confirmation number. I received the same message. I then tried another Kiosk this time with my credit card and flight number, still no luck. I consulted one of the employees around the Kiosk and he suggested that I see the supervisor. I did and was informed that I needed to resolve the problem with a ticket agent personally.

So I got in the long line to see an agent. It was 7:30 am and by flight was 8:45am, no problem I thought. Early morning at JFK is loaded with departing flights and it was 8:00 by the time I reached an agent. I was frustrated that the technology was not functioning and not too happy about waiting in line for 30 minutes. I voiced my frustration to the agent and she was very understanding. She issued my boarding card and requested my photo ID. As she was reading the ID, she said, “I know why the Kiosk didn’t work, it was so that I could wish you a happy birthday.” She then turned to the other agents and said, “Guys, wish Don a Happy Birthday.” They all did and I said to the agent, “You are good you just created a positive customer experience.”

As I walk to my flight I thought how quickly she turned a potential problem into a positive customer service experience. So easy to do, but it is the exception and not the rule.


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