It’s been twice that I flew from Hawaii to US mainland, be it California or Utah (duh, those are the only places I’ve been to…) Last year’s customer service at Honolulu airport was awesome. They took time to teach me and my friends on how to use their Kiosks since it was our first time. They taught us quite fast though so I wasn’t really able to get a good grasp of what they did. I can also remember a Chinese lady being so rude to some people. Good thing she didn’t do it to us.
Last night was the worst I have ever seen. I hate flying… especially if I am flying all by myself. It’s been almost 10 months since I last flew to the mainland (that was my first time and I had thought it would be the last). I couldn’t remember how to use the Kiosks and it was really crowded. I politely asked this guy (he looked Chinese but he seemed to have been brought up in Hawaii) to help me out because I was totally clueless. He looked at me and said “what?” I tried to explain myself again politely. He turned around as if he heard nothing and he never looked at me anymore. He was just standing there, a few feet away from me, but he ignored me again when I attempted for the second time to ask him for a little assistance. I was getting upset but I kept my cool. A guy standing next to him saw us but did nothing. Feeling helpless, I asked the man standing next to me if he knew how to use it. He was on the same boat as I was and he said, “these two guys had been ignoring me for the past 2 mins. I’ve been asking them though… I wish I could help you.” I stood there trying to figure out what to do next. Alas! The second guy recognized my existence. He looked at me and I looked at him as I raised my hand to indicate I needed help but before I could say anything, he walked to the next counter and yelled out the name that was printed on the sticker that he was holding up. Was I wearing Harry Potter’s cloak for them not to see me? I’m sure I wasn’t that small because I made an eye-to-eye contact with both of ’em. I was so upset so I finally asked out loud for help, as if almost everybody standing next to me could hear me. I hate doing that! A customer should never have to do that.
He helped me but it was obvious that he was mad. I understand that it was crowded and that there’s a lot of people but all that they were doing before was taking out the stickers that sticks to the luggages and calling out the customer’s names. But that shouldn’t be an excuse to be rude to a customer. Back in the Philippines, while training for a fastfood chain restaurant (Jollibee), we were taught the motto, “customers are always right.” I hated that motto because it wasn’t always the case. I came to hate that motto more when I worked in the Luau… but having that in my mind helped me a lot to do my best to give our customers the service that they are expecting from us.
Here’s a few points that I learned:
1) No matter how pressured you are or how much stressful your job is, it should never ever be the reason for you to give the customer a frown when they ask for help… even if you’ve encountered that kind of “asking” too many times in that whole day.
2) Learn how to smile. Whether you are the one who’s having a bad day or your guests, smiling will oftentimes (if not always) help make the day better.
3) Remember that because of your guests/customers, you have a paycheck. You are offering them a service and they are buying it from you. It isn’t a fair trade when they buy it from you and you don’t give them what they paid for (literally and figuratively).
4) As much as you want your guests to stand in your shoes, you can’t make them. Some might, but not all. Some would care less about your day. They’re just there as a customer, as a buyer of your service. So to better understand them, stand in their shoes instead. All of us are customers in some ways… so what would you expect in return for the service you paid for? Whatever that is, do the same thing to your customers… and even exceed it if you can. (That’s PCC’s 2nd TWIGS [Three Wildly Important Goals]. It says, “exceed customer expectations.”)