Lately I have been paying closer attention to the customer service I receive. Maybe it’s the economy or maybe I am just more sensitized to the benefits of good service and the brand risks of bad service.

Just in the past week, my experiences have run the gambit.

I’ve detailed my aggravations with Wells Fargo in detail. But conversely, I had an amazing service recovery experience with United Airlines.

I went to Washington DC last week and was flying home on Saturday. Unfortunately, I boarded the plane at exactly the wrong time. A storm was coming in from the west and for our safety the tower was keeping everyone grounded. So we sat on the runway. For three hours.

Annoying? Yes. United’s fault? No.

Yet, when I awoke the next morning, this email was there:

On behalf of all of us here at United, I want to express my sincere apologies
for the experience you had on Flight 975 on May 16, 2009.

At United, we take pride in being a reliable part of your travel plans. Your
satisfaction and business mean a great deal to me, I would like to invite you
to visit the following website to select a token of our appreciation.

http://www.united.com/appreciation

Please have your flight information handy when you visit the site.
Family members who traveled together using the same email address should access
the site individually.

Thank you for your time. Your satisfaction is important to us and we look forward
to serving you better in the near future.

Sincerely,

Sherri Hermance
United Airlines
Customer Relations

The email was impressive enough, but the fact that they offered a token of appreciation (I got bonus miles) was even more surprising.

It’s refreshing to see major companies making the effort to win customer loyalty. Which companies do you think are doing it well?

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