I have bad luck when I fly Delta. I know that’s an odd opening statement for a post that’s supposed to be a success story, but stick with me.
I don’t know why, but when I fly Delta, I seem to have issues. It’s been a long held frustration for me. Statistically, it’s just bad luck. According to this Washington Post article, Delta has the best on-time performance of any of the major carriers at 82.3%. I somehow always seem to live in the other 17.7%.
Last week I was on a Delta flight bound for La Crosse, WI. I was only spending a day in Wisconsin, so it was important not to get delayed. Sparing you the timeline of events – after an hour of delays that included two maintenance issues, a weather delay, and a request from our connecting airport that we not depart – we were returning to the gate to de-board the plane and seek other arrangements. In my frustration, I took to Twitter – tagging @Delta in the process. I told you that story, so I could tell you this next one.
—SUCCESS STORY STARTS HERE—
Within minutes of my tweet to @Delta I got a response from @DeltaAssist. It turns out, Delta has a support team of 14 monitoring Twitter 24×7 for customer issues and doing what they can to help. They responded quickly asking what the issue was, followed me, and asked me to follow them so we could exchange direct messages privately to get my issue resolved. After giving them some information about me and other options that would be suitable, they booked me into Minneapolis that night and offered to reimburse the rental car I would need to make the two hour drive to my original destination. It all happened in the span of five minutes and all via Twitter. While the line at the original gate slowly worked its way through alternate plans, I was boarding a flight that would get me to where I needed to be.
Most of us don’t run businesses the size of Delta – so what should we take from this story?
This story. This story is the point for you. We all know that referrals are the lifeblood of small businesses (and they’re pretty good for big companies too…). Delta took what would have been an entirely negative experience and got me to write a positive blog post. You won’t always delight 100% of your customers, but if you go above and beyond to serve them when you come up short, you might just get close.