Loyalty Through Leadership
By John Hennessy, Vice President, Concept Shopping, Inc.
Writing on the Fast Company blog, Chuck Salter relates an airline situation with a twist.
Instead of swearing off an airline due to his experiencing several mechanical delays, information and personal interaction between captain and passengers led Mr. Salter to praise
the captain and minimize the inconvenience of the delays.
As Mr. Salter relates, “Our captain was a natural, though. He not only nipped a potential passenger riot in the bud, he also won over a tough crowd with his candor and charm.
As unlucky as we felt to be on a thrice-delayed flight, we felt fortunate to have flown with him. (Yes, we eventually made it home that night.)"
Moderator’s Comment: Are your leaders customer-engaging, loyalty-building assets?
The story Chuck relates is a great example of how important a leader’s practices and personality are to the customer experience. In this example, an experience
that could have deterred travelers from choosing this airline actually elevated their perception of the airline due to the direct communication and strong leadership of the pilot.
How the leader handles customers determines how all personnel relate to customers. If their leader engages customers directly in both good situations and,
more importantly, in bad, other employees are more likely to step up.
There’s an additional loyalty consideration in how this pilot responded versus how most leaders respond when faced with an unpleasant situation. If you
are afraid to interact with your customers and hide rather than help them when they have a problem, how can you expect any loyalty?
Want to improve your business and increase shopper loyalty? Hire and reward leaders who are customer advocates. –
John Hennessy – Moderator