By Paula @ Holiday World

For several years, I’ve received a wonderful e-newsletter from Debra Schmidt, “The Loyalty Leader.” The ongoing theme of the communique is how to provide outstanding customer service.

I especially enjoy the newsletter in that it’s not only practical, down-to-earth and free, it always ends with a story about Debra’s son, Dave. Those nuggets of youthful insight from Dave add that personal touch that, you guessed it, builds loyalty.

Well, it seems The Loyalty Leader likes the idea of our “What Our Guests Are Saying” blog. She touts it in one of her articles this week.

As an aside, young James and I just returned from our annual trip to Connecticut to spend Halloween with my folks. Unfortunately, I got to witness how one airline handles difficult situations with their soon-not-to-be loyal customers. At one point, a supervisor hollered, “I’ve got an Irate for you to handle over here.” Please note, I was not the customer she was referring to; it was somewhat horrifying and a tiny bit amusing, though, to hear their not-so-secret code word for a problem customer is “An Irate.” That was heading out. Returning yesterday, I was downright disgusted to hear (again a supervisor) bellow, “Who wants to get the wheelchair?” The bad part is that there was a perfectly able-eared woman sitting in the wheelchair waiting for help. A bit later, when someone came to help, he didn’t even say hello to the lady, but just came up behind the wheelchair and pushed. What a difference just a few kind words would have made…

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