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Posts tagged "Southwest Airlines"

Damaged LuggageAn Amazing Experience

My daughter came home from school to visit us over a recent holiday. She was flying on Southwest Airlines and checked a piece of luggage. When the suitcase showed up on the luggage carousel, we noticed the handle was damaged. Bummer! I’ve been through this before.

Not happy, I walked into the Southwest office. What I expected was a long line, followed by a less-than-enthusiastic employee, extensive paperwork to fill out, and then who knows how long it would take to get the luggage repaired. However, I was pleasantly surprised. After all, this was Southwest Airlines. Continue reading

The headlines yesterday were about Steve Jobs, Apple’s leader and visionary, stepping down to take a medical leave. People are worried about what will happen to the company.

The same thing happened with Southwest Airlines CEO Herb Kelleher. Everyone worried what would happen to the company when the co-founder and chairman stepped down. Looking back we can see that the answer was simple: nothing. Proof of that came recently when the US experienced the worst economy in years, which negatively affected the airline industry. Yet, Southwest fared well – and Kelleher wasn’t there. The reason was also simple: The new people in charge kept doing what they have always been doing – what Kelleher started and what everyone continued to do after he left.

Basically, Kelleher promised two things. First, he promised a simple value proposition to his customers in the form of inexpensive flights and a bag of peanuts. What the customers (passengers) received was that plus great service. It was fun to fly on Southwest. Second, he took pride in taking great care of his employees, believing that if you take care of the employees, they will take care of the customers. This worked and continues to do so.

There is no doubt that Steve Jobs is an amazing man who has led Apple to develop products that have changed the world. His departure will hopefully be temporary. Yet, if it is permanent, he has a great team supporting him and the company. They know what to do. His legacy will live on.

On a personal note, Mr. Jobs, I wish you health and a speedy recovery. Take care of yourself and your family. The company will take of itself. You made sure of that.

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional  speaker and New York Times   bestselling business author. For information contact (314) 692-2200 or http://www.hyken.com. For information on The  Customer  Focus™ customer service training programs go to http://www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
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