Case in Point: Another West Jet flight heading home to Edmonton after an awesome visit in Toronto with our kids and grandkids! And I’m off! I fire up the laptop to do some business writing and Darren, the flight attendant stops by – “Working hard or hardly working” he said. My response the usual “No I’m playing at my work.” That usually leads to an interesting conversation and this was no different. We chatted about I’m sure one of his favorite subjects, him and his job! We talked about why he liked working at West Jet, what he was passionate about and the famous West Jet culture. He also commented on how important it was that management really listened!
At that point, he handed me the sandwich I ordered. Apparently today, it’s free. Something about sitting in the first 3 rows! Throughout the flight we would exchange pleasantries as he went about ensuring the safety and comfort of all of his clients. I might add that for some reason my headset and glass of wine were gratis as well. Must be my lucky day!
Near the end of the flight he stopped by and asked me for my boarding pass. I thought that kind of odd however wasn’t too concerned. It was obviously too late to deny me boarding and I don’t carry a parachute with me so felt relatively safe. He filled out a form and handed my boarding pass back to me with a card. “I’m sending you $50.” Hmm. Interesting! What a great way to surprise and delight a client. It’s part of their new Customer Service Program entitled “WestJet Cares”.
I’ve shared this story a number of times and now you’re reading it too! What are the lessons here?
1. West Jet has created a culture from day one that revolves around their values.
- Commitment to safety
- Positive and passionate in everything we do
- Appreciative of our People and Guests
- Fun, friendly and caring
- Align the interests of WestJetters with the interests of the company
- Honest, open and keep our commitments
Consistently these values are evident whenever I fly West Jet! To me there is no other airline unless I’m going somewhere they don’t fly!
2. Their team members are empowered to make decisions on the fly. Another case in point: Just a few days before I flew out to Toronto I had to make a change and fly from Calgary instead of Edmonton. My aunt had passed away and attending the funeral the day before the flight wouldn’t give me sufficient time to get back to Edmonton. The reservations agent made the change without the usual change fee!
3. “Providing a great guest experience” is the best marketing and promotion you can get. See – I’m doing their promotion for them!
Sir Richard Branson says “The way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers”. I’d say WestJet has figured that out too!
Now look at your own business.
- Are you living your corporate values?
- How are you treating your employees?
- If you are an employee, how are you treating your customers?
- Are your customers advocating for you?
- Are your referrals a huge source of revenue for you?
If not, it’s time to do something about that.
For more information on the importance of leadership and some tips on how you can make a difference in your company, download a copy of “Employee Engagement – It Starts With You!” from www.majix.ca
And for my friends in the insurance business, now is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of our Customer Service for the Insurance Professional Course. This course provides 3.5 Continuing Education Hours. Enroll and take the course online at your convenience.
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