Leadership / Management

Customer service: It’s all about lost and found

Luggage I returned home from a business trip earlier this week to find a birthday card from Southwest Airlines ... just hours after they lost my luggage.

The irony was delicious.

Actually, I can't blame Southwest for the SNAFU. My flight from Ft. Myers to Orlando was delayed by 45 minutes, leaving me with literally minutes to make my connecting flight back to St. Louis. I walked off the Ft. Myers flight and boarded the plane to St. Louis just two minutes later. There was no way in hell my bag was going to make it, too.

Two and a half hours later, I was at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis. And my bag? It was on its way to Chicago.

And none of this was Southwest's fault.

Even so, here's what they did: They filled out a form to report my luggage lost ("They rarely use the word lost," my buddy Greg corrected me on Facebook. "Last time I had to fill out a 'Baggage Irregularity Report.'") and promised to deliver the bag to my home when it arrived in town.

So I drove home and went to bed.

When I awoke the next morning, my bag was sitting on our patio.

Talk about service. I even got a birthday card out of the deal.

The moral of the story (to me, anyway) is this: Customer service is easy when everything goes right. It's what we do for our customers when things go wrong that defines us.

What's your favorite lemons-to-lemonade customer service story?


Bill Sheridan