• The Pepper Shaker

  • January 2011
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Pepper Mill #6: Customer Relations

Sometimes I like to wait for just the right story to highlight good forms of PR. This honorable mention goes out to Southwest Airlines for their outstanding and humanitarian practice of customer relations.

At its core, customer relations representatives and experts chant the mantra, “The customer is always right.” And sometimes it’s easy to do that – you issue a refund, resolve a complaint, answer questions, help fix a problem or any other sort of thing. But all too often, customer relations reps and PR pros focus on fixing a problem instead of taking preventative measures.

Take this story, for example. On a recent Southwest flight, an older man was hurrying to catch a plane because of an unexpected family emergency. His grandson was dying after a severe head injury, and didn’t know how long the boy had to live. The pilot somehow knew of this and delayed the flight so he could board. Where airline employees would normally be punished for holding up a flight, the pilot got up and went to the gate himself to wait for the man.

The pilot’s acts were no doubt compassionate and understanding. A Southwest spokesperson said, “”As you’re reading the story, you absolutely get tears in your eyes and just an overwhelming sense of pride that our pilot took such an action. It really makes you proud to work for Southwest.”

These preventative techniques display care and concern for individuals – the best kind of PR you can do. Similar to the spokesperson, passengers begin to think to themselves, “It really makes you proud to fly with Southwest.” Wouldn’t you feel that way, too?

Read the whole story, here.


One Response

  1. Holy Cow… I totally got teary. That is so sweet. I love to hear stories like this, to know there are still a lot of good people out in the world that care. Thanks for sharing this.

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