I spent my Christmas time in Kuala Lumpur this year, a beautiful and warm Christmas. During this trip, I observed a few instances of customer focus, or lack thereof, that made me think.
Rules are rules
It started at the airport before departure, where I planned to use the lounge before departure as I often do. I entered and was happy to see that the lounge looked empty. There was no queue, I was the first at the counter, and there was nobody behind me. Then it happened: I was declined entrance! The reasoning was that due to the fog and the canceled flights, they could not trade my frequent flyer miles for lounge access. It felt weird and it felt very unfriendly, it did not make sense to me. Rules are rules and policy is policy. That’s what they adhered to and therefore I could not get in.
End good, all good
Then I remembered an app called LoungeBuddy* that I use to have on my iPhone before. So I quickly installed it again. Within the app, I still had an unused entrance credit for another lounge. It happened to be the competing lounge to the one where I was just declined entrance. Here, I was warmly welcomed with a smile. End good, all good. I had a relaxed waiting time.
However, the experience did not leave me untouched. Disappointed by my favorite brand, warmly welcomed by another. I have mixed feelings about it and there is a good chance that next time I will immediately launch LoungeBuddy* to find a warm welcome.
Being in Kuala Lumpur for the first time, I experienced the people here to be warm and hospitable. Very customer focused. They go the extra mile to create the best experience for their guests, every encounter is met with a smile. Their focus is on creating the best guest experience. What a difference!
The right focus
It is easy to complain for a long time about the bad experience I had on this trip, but instead I like to focus on the awareness of the good ones. It makes me realize once again that in relationships, the right focus is important. The proper focus means the right attitude towards your counterpart. Be it your guest, your client, your alliance partner, or your colleague. With the right focus, you will create a situation with mutual gain, where you both benefit.
Sometimes you need to bend the rules for the right customer experiences. It is a matter of focus. Consider it in your interactions this week. Where is your focus?