I believe that one of the keys to retaining customers is to build a long term relationship with them and to deliver outstanding service. Of course we all make mistakes and sometimes we don’t live up to our own or our customers high expectations.
The good news is that these opportunities, when we let a customer down, can become our best opportunities to strengthen the relationship.
Recently I hired a car from Alamo car rental to go from Glasgow to Edinburgh airports.
The lady processing our booking at Glasgow was a bit harassed but was polite and the customer service was acceptable if not outstanding, however our reception at Edinburgh was a different story.
When we returned the car, the returns desk was in chaos, everyone seemed to be returning vehicles at the same time and the staff were run ragged. Key’s were being misplaced and tempers were becoming frayed. Even the simple act of returning our vehicle was not as pleasant as it should have been.
To compound matters, when we got to the terminal. we discovered that we had left a small bag in the car. We returned to the desk int he terminal, waited our turn in the queue and listened to the stressed customer service people snap and snipe between themselves and their customers. Finally, when we got speak to someone, he told us that the check in office had closed and that he couldn’t get anyone to check the vehicle for our bag. “Leave your details and somebody will phone you!”
We left to board our flight with a heavy heart, not impressed with Alamo and fully expecting that we wouldn’t see our bag again.
Thankfully the Alamo staff came good. We got a phone call, our bag had been found and, if we gave them our address they would post it to us the next day!
And sure enough, the bag turned up yesterday, intact and undamaged. Well done Alamo.
My faith has been restored. I can empathise with the staff who were doing their best under difficult circumstances. Let’s face it we’ve all made mistakes.
What made this experience difference is the way the Alamo team recovered! As a result I feel positive about them and will certainly use them again.