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Customer Service Champion!

Customer Service Champion!
From left: Fiji Link general manager Athil Narayan, first officer on delivery flight Andrea Lessard, Fiji Airways Managing Director and chief executive officer Andre Viljoen, Delivery flight Captain David Crerar and Executive General Manager, Fiji Link and Group Corporate, International and Government Affairs Shaenaz Voss. Photo: Fiji Airways
March 10
10:00 2018

In business, every now and then you come across a person (or people) who stand out.  They just ‘have it.’

Something about what they do, the way they behave and speak to others and their attitude makes you think ‘yes, you have what it takes to really get places.’

This is my story when I recently met somebody in Fiji like this.

He is the type of person you want in your business, at all levels, because most importantly, his attitude was outstanding.

And in business it counts. Big time!


Who are you?

You’re male, young (20 – 25 perhaps?) slender in stature and wonderfully polite.

You’re concerned, attentive and you care.

You’re working out what your future holds and creating a career that you hopefully will find rewarding and a life that is fulfilling.

You have many things open to you and various paths that you can choose.

And whatever you choose to do, you will be successful. Why?

Because you are outstanding.  Even one in thousands perhaps.  And one of the greatest things you have going for you is your attitude.

Attitude is everything in life.

I would rather work with people who have a positive and optimistic attitude and try hard (but are not necessarily top achievers) than those who could be top of the class, but are lazy, could not be bothered or simply don’t care.

I’ve been developing leaders for over 25 across three continents, so I know ‘exemplary’ leaders when I see them.  I also know what ‘mediocre’ or ‘inadequate’ leadership looks like. Why?

But not this young man.

Not you!  You stand out.


Where I met you

At Labasa airport very early on the morning of November 12, 2017.

I was running a leadership and team development Programme with Fiji Rice and Copra Millers (awesome people) in Savusavu and on this morning, I arrived at the Labasa airport to catch an early flight.  6.30 am I think. I felt tired.

It was already hot and I wasn’t feeling great.

The airport was already busy and my bag felt heavier than normal.  I was struggling and must have looked as though I was.

The check-in counter was busy and the queue was long.

Patiently I waited my turn.

I showed you my ticket and passport and you were focussed on serving me and getting the rest of the waiting passengers checked in and ready for the flight.


But  you  noticed that the passenger in front of you (me) was not on top of life that morning.

You looked at me squarely in the eyes and asked me ‘Are you ok Ma’am?’

‘No, not really’ I muttered.

‘Is there anything I can do to help you?’

‘Don’t worry’ I replied.  But you did worry. And this is where your customer service was exemplary.

You asked me if you could get me a glass of water.

I declined politely.

Even though there was a long line of people behind me, you offered to carry my bags to the seating area.

I thanked you and you came around the counter to help me.

You asked me if there was anything you could do make my plight easier.  No thanks, I mumbled.

You offered me the opportunity to cool off and havea little space to myself.

My eyes brightened. Both sounded fantastic. ‘That would be fantastic’, I replied, elated.

You grabbed my bag and steered me into the Fiji Airways lounge, apologisingthat the room had not yet been vacuumed.

A large team had used it the night before and it had not been cleaned. I didn’t care.

Youwere wonderful.

You offered me a coffee.  I said no and that if I felt like it, I would get one.  I felt hope. Relief. Ever grateful.

On two different occasions, you came to the room to checkthat I was ok and assess my well-being.  On one occasion, you put the air conditioning on to make me ‘more comfortable.’  You left me for a while and I dozed.

Then you came back to make sure I was moving towards the security doors to get on the plane – and carried my bags to the security check-in point.


A challenge to Fiji (Link) Airways

I wrote your name down.  I have searched and searched but can’t find it.

I was so impressed with you, your attitude and your customer service and I recognise what a bright future you have.

This is challenge to Fiji (Link) Airways – find him, develop him, grow him.

As part of your Talent Development Programme, put this young man on the path to greatness. And tell us about it.

Help him one day become chief executive officer of your  company because if you don’t, trust me – your opposition will.


Customer Service at its best

This is exceptional customer service in its purest form.

Exemplary care.

You are fantastic at your job, you have the most wonderful attitude and you made a huge difference that day, as I am sure you do everyday.

I would employ you at the drop of a hat.

You and I know who you are even though our paths crossed so briefly.  But if they can’t locate you, contact me directly.

I would like to introduce you to your chief executive officer.


What is exemplary Customer Service and how does it affect your business?

  • You are in business to get customers and keep them
  • By understanding your customer and their needs, you can design a range of strategies to help them fill those needs
  • And it grows your bottom line as they become, and remain, loyal to you
  • Your delivery is that of ‘nothing is too much for me to help you’ at all levels down your organisational line
  • Your people are positive, smiling, upbeat and do whatever it takes to make the customer feel listened to and given whatever they are buying to meet their need/s.
  • International Consulting firm Bain & Company report that a five per cent improvement in customer loyalty leads to a growth in profitability of 25-90 per cent.
  • Clearly, customer loyalty is critical, and service is central to building it.



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