A lesson from Alaska Airlines

“Press the silver button to get your seat up for me, please.”

The Alaska Airlines flight attendant said this same phrase over 40 times as she passed through the aisle. Such repetition typically feels monotonous, and can even create a bit of tension if you sense a tinge of annoyance coming from the speaker.

Not this time.

Each repetition here felt entirely different because it came from a genuine place of caring.

From my perspective, she didn’t believe she was repeating herself. She had tapped into a kind of beginner’s mind, as though she hadn’t just said the phrase a few seconds ago.

The result was mesmerizing.

It took a monotonous component of customer service, one likely to be automated in the foreseeable future, and turned it into an opportunity to make every customer feel valued and in good hands.

In the automation age, moments like this are the irreplaceable human value-add.

It’s worth thinking about how we can all offer a similar experience for our customers, especially in those moments when it would be far easier not to.

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