NOTE: This is Part 4 of a series of posts inspired by 40 very active hours of travel on March 13-14, 2015. This will complete the series. For Part 1 “I don’t care about $2, click here. For Part 2 “Maybe I didn’t exist”, click here. For Part 3 “You sent my bag where?” click here.
After coming to grips with the fact that my suitcase would not be accompanying me during my 12 hour stay in Chicago, I still had to pick up my rental car and get to my destination. So I boarded the shuttle to the rental car area.
Jackie had a “how ya doing, friend” kind of attitude. Warm, engaging and genuine. At the risk of sounding redundant, she was real AND genuine!
After the morning I’d had, interacting with someone like Jackie (just on the above merits) was quite refreshing. But the story doesn’t end here.
Jackie pulled up my reservation and noticed that I had booked my car through a 3rd party “bundle” site (like Orbitz or Travelocity). It just seemed easier booking the number of flights, hotels and cars over such a short period. As Jackie was about to point out, it’s not always cheaper that way.
She had a confused and bewildered look on her face when she said, “Do you know you are getting charged $68 for your car for one day?”
“No, it was in the bundle.” was my response.
“Well then,” she said with a wily smile, “you are going to love me. How does $11 sound?”
“How did you do that?” I asked.
“I changed your reservation… I re-booked it directly through our site. Don’t go through the bundle sites, a lot of times they are much more expensive.”
“Wow” was about all I could muster. I was amazed at her honesty and goodwill and I began to smile. Of course I would need a GPS, but even with that added to the rental I was still getting a bargain.
As I returned the car later that day, a nice young man asked if everything was okay with the car. I told him the car was fine, but that Jackie at the counter was a real rock star. He agreed and said, “yes, she’s the best”.
So how did Jackie make it all better? How did she make me forget all the other junk that happened in the last 28 hours. She cared. Plain and simple, she cared about me, my experience, and my wallet. She cared enough to take action on my behalf. She cared enough to right the wrongs (or overchargings) perpetrated by others.
Based on the young man’s comment when I returned the car, this was not an isolated incident. He has either seen Jackie in action or has heard other happy patrons say similar things about his colleague.
Thing is, you can’t teach people to care. You can’t give them a handbook of the do’s and don’ts and expect them to care. I would imagine Jackie cares because she is a role that allows her to do what she does best. How many of us can say that?
How many of our employees would care a whole lot more if they were in roles that aligned with their natural talents and abilities? How much happier would your customers be then?
That’s something that every leader should care about.
Thanks for reading!
PS – I debated whether or not to mention Jackie’s employer, because if what she did was against policy, I certainly wouldn’t want her getting in trouble for it. In the end though, through her actions she created a sense of connection and loyalty that will guide my rental car decisions in the future. So, Alamo, you have a great employee in Jackie, and I hope she gets the recognition she deserves for this and ALL of the great experiences she creates. Oh, and I will always check your website first when in need of a rental car.
About the author: Some people don’t like to travel – Matt loves it! Not only does it provide for great stories like these, but it also allows him to do what he feels he does best – Helping Leaders Lead! He does this through interactive keynotes and customized training workshops. Click here for more details or to find out how to book Matt for your next event!