Combining "Hi-Tech" with "Hospitality"

We all know that our technology continues to move rapidly. At times, I have wondered how it connects with delivering customer service (from people). What I witnessed this past Sunday was how you can combine both hi-tech (convenience) with Hospitality (personalized service) to create a memorable experience. And it came from an airline (well, actually is was Pedro).

I flew to Memphis on Sunday to work with an association’s board of directors. On the way to Memphis, I saw this convergence of “Hi-Tech” and “Hospitality.”

Towards the end of the flight, Pedro, the senior flight attendant, was walking up the aisle and stopped at the row directly in front of me. He was holding his smartphone in one hand and looked to be on a mission. He came up to the passenger in 22 B, greeted him by his name and proceeded to thank him for being a Frequent Flyer member. How did he know this? In his hand was the “convenience”, the data in his smartphone. This data showed him the information he needed- name, where he was sitting, and that he was a Frequent Flyer. Now, he could have easily sent him an email or even a text to say “thank you.” But he decided to use the “Power of Hospitality” and make that personal connection. By doing this and thanking him he left a memorable impression with the passenger and his wife. How do I know this? After the attendant left him, he turned to his wife and said, “That’s never happened to me before. That was pretty classy.”

Later, I asked Pedro what that was all about (although I had a pretty good idea). What he did was something simple, but heartfelt. He took the time to make that personal/emotional connection while utilizing the technology that almost all of us now have at our fingertips.