Monthly Mash and Talk Isn’t Cheap

Welcome to the Monthly Mash, a mashup of tools, tales and tips on customer service and the customer experience from around the blogosphere.

VOLUME 34: August 2014

Thoughts on the Customer: Talk Isn’t Cheap

We flew a bargain air carrier this past holiday weekend and got to experience first hand a customer journey where the customer is not at the forefront of the process. The experience consisted of a number of problematic touch points, from the bait-and-switch discount pricing to the robotic gate agent; however, the silver lining of the experience was how it reinforced the importance of the most basic customer service principles. One principle that truly stood out as crucial was quality, thoughtful communication with customers.

Monthly Mash Talk Isn't Cheap | White speech bubble with talk on itInstead of recounting the entire experience, I will just tell the story of when the flight was delayed. The flight was already half-boarded, so it was necessary to unload the passengers that were already on the plane. Since my wife was on the plane and I was not (yet, another fun aspect of the experience), we received a number of different messages about the cause of the delay — all within a ten minute window.

  • The pilot is not legally able to fly the plane. (Comforting)
  • The pilot is having trouble getting to the airport.
  • The pilot didn’t know he had a flight.

None of these messages were delivered well to begin with, but the succession of mixed messages did nothing but undermine our confidence in the professionalism of the crew and the airline.

Eventually, we did board the plane, and then we were delayed once more. As we sat on the tarmac, our hopes of takeoff dashed again, the inside of the plane began to heat up in the Florida sun. The flight attendant came on the loudspeaker to make us all feel better about our extended delay.

“Hi folks, I just want to let you know that we should be leaving in a few minutes; we just have to finish some paperwork.”

You can’t make this stuff up.

If you ever think that basic customer service communication training is unnecessary, think again. Talk isn’t cheap at all; in fact, done poorly it can cost a whole lot.

The Month in Customer Service Blogging

A collection of the best posts about customer service and the customer experience we read this past month.

Someone Was Listening

Sometimes the most popular post from the previous month; sometimes just the one I liked best.

3 Customer Service Lessons I Learned From Kids – Customer service lessons can be found in the most unlikely places. In this post from CTS Social Media Manger Tricia Keels, we are reminded of three lessons that apply to the adult world from a pop-up backyard restaurant run by kids. 

Photo Credit:


By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.

    Find more about me on:
  • googleplus
  • facebook
  • linkedin
  • twitter
  • youtube

There are no comments

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *