The last 10 days have been both eye-opening yet reassuring of the business model of Global Performance Testing International and the mutual desires for the sporting, health and education market places to have reliability in the data they work with specifically in human performance.
The tour with the Australian Sports Technologies Network was support by the Victorian Government to highlight innovation developed in Australia and specifically Victoria to the world and I am going to start with my pre-departure error that kicked off the challenges ahead for a small business in a global market.
Dr Martin Schlegel and his team at ASTN did an outstanding job of keeping all of the delegation up to speed on the journey ahead but I still managed to forget that I hadn’t been to the US for a few years and therefore my ESTA had lapsed. Arriving in good spirit at Melbourne International, the polite check in crew of Virgin Australia pointed out that I couldn’t fly unless I had the relevant documents.
Rather than dismissing me to the back of the queue, the staff worked to get me the right website and help me get my application in. While I was definitely missing my first domestic flight to Sydney that morning, they did all they could to switch me to the next ensuring I had time to get to my international flight to LAX. Unfortunately, the ESTA didn’t fly to my email as quickly so all up, I couldn’t make the flight to LAX that day.
Now, this is the point where customer service often becomes robotic and procedural with little common sense of sensitivity of the customer but Virgin excelled right here by doing all they could to move me across to the next flight from Melbourne to LAX the following day. ESTA came through and I was, although a little behind schedule, back on track.
We switch the story now to Delta whom I had also booked for the domestic transfer from LAX to Boston that I was obviously now going to miss. Calling the head office and running through the reason and working together with their team also gave the same experience where they efficiently switched me to flights that would get me back on track and then thanked me for the support and call.
The final part of this self-caused error included the Sheraton Hotel in Boston where I needed to change from a 3 night to 2 night stay (due to my error and inability to get there in time). A call to the reception and another outstanding conversation with polite truth of the situation resulted in customer service coming to the front of the line and a simple “no problem sir, we have cancelled the room for the first evening and you’re good to go”. No charges or fines, just great customer service and acceptance that sometimes, we make errors and need a solution rather than another problem.
My businesses are always focused on customer service and we have them at front and centre of the corporate model. Saying that my staff are on the same level as they are truly my customers too and through this pre-tour experience it reminded me that good people in roles facing your clients will make your journey to success swift, happy and long-standing.
So, my blog around the USA trade mission reiterates the advice that without great staff, a great philosophy of communication and great customers you are on the slide to short-term gain, long-term pain. And I hadn’t left the airport yet!
#LearnTrainWork #DontSettleForAverage #CustomersCount #GoodStaffAreEssential