Saturday, November 28, 2009

My Customers Are Smarter

I've been browsing a website of astonishing customer interactions. I'll give you the link in a moment, but first let me give thanks for my own wonderful customers.

I am very grateful that my customers are sane and aviation savvy. They understand that I can't fly the airplane with something wrong, even if they would drive a truck in the same condition. They recognize the safety value of making conservative decisions. And they have never once taken frustration out on me when the weather, aircraft, regulations, late arriving parts or other aspects of the world mean that a flight has to be cancelled. The frequently change their minds, but my job is to be flexible for them. Occasionally they make decisions that don't seem optimal to me, or reject suggestions that I thought would make their lives easier, but I am able to trust that they are sane and will take responsibility for their decisions.

Sometimes I do charter flights with people less familiar with aircraft, but it's expensive enough to book a charter flight that I seem to be shielded from the customers who lack not only a basic knowledge of the world, but the comprehension and information processing skills to ever learn. This post is dedicated to all the front line customer service people who have no protection against such customers.

All the people I interact with seem to be familiar with basic logic and causality, plus know that airplanes need fuel, airports are noisy, weather can make air travel unpredictable, and amazing as I am I am not superhuman.

The site is Not Always Right. I'll warn you that it's so simultaneously hilarious and jaw-dropping that you may not be able to tear yourself away from it. Here's an aviation example illustrating the principle that some customers don't seem to be able to absorb basic information about the world. It \s also a commonly successful type of response: the person serving the customer finds something to say that satisfies the customer, even when it's not entirely true.


Anonymous said...

One day you will get that airline job and then you, too, will have customers like those.

Michael F. Vasseur said...

And another evening disappears reading Not Always Right... I hope my IQ is not permanently reduced.

A Web comic I enjoy is The Chalkboard Manifesto. It's a bit like XKCD, except the artist converts his stick drawings to give a chalk-on-blackboard effect.

Traveller said...

OK, that is a truly dangerous (to productivity, maybe sanity) site.