Giving Up a First Class Seat

Written By: Kim - Apr• 06•13

This week, my daughter and I went out of town overnight, but we were unable to secure airplane seats together. She is 12. Take offs and landing makes her a little nervous. The gate agent was unable to move us because the United flight was booked. The flight attendants said they would ask the person sitting next to her. He said yes, so I moved back to economy plus and he moved in to my first class seat. That’s right, people. I gave up a coveted first class seat to sit by my child. And please know that I don’t earn enough frequent flyer miles to even come close to any elite status. The stars simply aligned and it was easy for this trip.

photoMy daughter watched from our front row economy plus seats how the first class passengers received their drinks in real glasses; were given hot lemon-scented towels to wash their hands before and after they ate, and finally a plated real breakfast. The realization that I gave up a comfortable experience to sit next to her set in. She asked me why. The answer is simple: because you are my child and you needed me.

But the United Airlines flight attendants who helped me facilitate the switch took care of us. After the first class passengers were fed, they asked if either of us would like a danish or croissant. Did they have to do that? No. Was it a big concession for giving up a first class seat? No. But, their small act of kindness reminded me that despite our propensity to be cynical about the human race, more people are kinder than we give them credit.

And the next time I have to fly, which airline will I choose? United.

Turning No into Yes

Written By: Kim - Apr• 11•11

I just spent three days at Digital Now in the most magical place on earth: Disney World. There is not a cast member there, whether on duty or not, who did not have a smile on their face or a quick hello for their guests. I have never experienced such fabulous, consistent, customer service.

I was lucky enough to attend a branding session given by a cast member of the famous Disney Institute. The speaker talked about how Disney used to say no to weddings. Then they noticed brides showing up in their dresses under overcoats, going with the bridal party to the spot where they wanted to get married, then quickly having the ceremony before security could come and ask them to stop.

The cast members started thinking about how they could manage and host weddings. Walt Disney World now hosts 1,500 weddings a year. In saying yes, they also built brand loyalty: providing a Disney fan the chance to get married in a place where they built memories as a child. The residual income from the wedding party, suggestions to other friends who love Disney and future trips with yet-to-be-born with children has created lifelong brand loyalty.

How are you saying yes to your members and customers to create lifelong brand loyalty?