My airline of choice is Southwest Airlines. Now, I know, many of you may gasp and wonder about my sanity; others will clearly understand (either that it makes sense that SWA is my airline of choice or that I am insane).
The reason for my choice is simple. Unlike any other airline, the employees of Southwest have been empowered to have fun; be silly; tell jokes; read poems, etc. Indeed, on a recent SWA flight, they asked us to applaud a serviceman who was traveling with his girlfriend…and then proceeded to help him with his marriage proposal, which was made at 35,000 feet somewhere over Wichita. It was a memorable experience for both the couple and the passengers. Simply stated, SWA has clearly recognized that consumers buy experiences. And thus, SWA provides their employees with the tools (that cost nothing) to make tolerable riding on a bus at 35,000 feet while chewing on your knees.
My colleague Rich Heiland, the Director of Member Experiences at Cleinman Performance Network, is a self-described "service maven." He's got more customer service stories than Denny's has eggs. You'd expect that from a Pulitzer Prize winning former newspaper publisher. And he must have passed both his passion for service and his writing skills on to his daughter, because she's recently written about a customer experience that's truly both a hoot and which carries an important message. Enjoy her story by clicking on the link below.