Daily Archives: February 11, 2011

Customer Service: It’s more than just being “charming”

It’s an interesting world we live in, and I find it very fascinating how people always look at the problems and want to blame everyone else. That thought came to mind as I read the article, “Delta Sends Its 11,000 Agents to Charm School”, featured in the Wall Street Journal. The class, aptly named, “Service From the Heart” was designed for all 11,000 of Delta Air Lines’ Airport Customer Service (ACS) agents. It is designed to help remind, and sometimes teach, the agents what many companies have lost; the delicate art of great customer service.

This class (more like a workshop) is a much-needed initiative and Delta should be applauded for the work they are doing. Yet the article, sold this very important and well-received initiative, short. It certainly didn’t take into account the focus of the workshop and the efforts of the designers and the facilitators that work their hearts out every day. The title alone (“Charm School”) belittles the often challenging position of those who provide customer service. Even some of the quotes were taken out of context to the material being presented. Many speak about how “bad” the airline industry is. Often it’s the “media” or, in my opinion, one-sided reporting, that promotes these negative images.

Of course there are plenty of things that need to be fixed in the industry, and there will always be challenges, but look at what Delta IS doing. They are taking steps in the right direction, and it has to start somewhere. Thank goodness the leaders see the need. We should be encouraged that they are taking these steps and now we can hold them accountable for their efforts. This investment is not cheap. It’s an investment in its people. How many companies can claim this nowadays? Knowing that Delta is spending a great amount of resources to make things better, and to have those efforts reported in such lackadaisical way, makes it feel personal. To be honest, it doesn’t give me much hope in the media’s ability to report on the good things out there. From what I read I guess that’s how they feel about the airlines. I will wish the media the best of luck with that approach. And to Delta I say you are making a difference! Delta Keep Climbing! You’re on the right track! I for one applaud your efforts!

Darin Topham

Vision Developer, slarin productions, LLC