Have you ever had a phone call with an airline that left you smiling? I just did with American Airlines.
I know most calls to airlines, including American, are painless at best and excruciatingly annoying at worst. It is quite rare to exchange anything more than pleasantries with the agent on the other end, especially noting how bad call center hold times can be.
For example, I called British Airways yesterday as well and had to wait 48 minutes to reach an agent. By the time we began speaking, I was in absolutely no mood for small talk. Just book the ticket. Please…
Anyway, I called American Airlines about a schedule change to an Award Expert client’s ticket. He’s flying to Barcelona, then taking a Mediterranean cruise to Rome before flying home. The agent asked if this was a cruise and when I said yes, she began speaking…a mile a minute…about how she and her husband did the same cruise last summer.
She told me about the excursions, the food, the cities she visited, and warned me about the intense June heat. She begged me to bring a sun umbrella. Honestly, even though I did not learn anything new, I loved the conversation. I wasn’t going to tell her that I already knew to eat where the locals eat or avoid taxi touts…that would have popped her balloon. There was so much joy and passion that I was happy to pause my day for about four minutes and listen to her.
Now maybe American Airlines would far prefer she cut the small talk and move on to the next passenger. Perhaps most passengers do not want to waste even four minutes with small talk. But I truly appreciated her passion and came away with better thoughts about American Airlines.
When you have an agent who cares; an agent is not merely going through the motion, you can sense it. And that engenders loyalty. This was a $5,000 business class ticket I was calling about. Maybe she noticed it, maybe she did not. I think she was just interested in the cruise.
Not wanting to risk offending her, I did not have the temerity to ask if she was from the US Airways side…oh how I miss those days.
> Read More: US Airways Call Center Humor
Have you ever had a great conversation with an airline reservations agent over the phone?
image: American Airlines