Welcome to Asheville!

Welcome to Asheville!

We all know that flying can be a hassle. Long lines, extensive waits, delayed and cancelled flights, and frequently robotic, indifferent or even hostile gate agents can make air travel unpleasant and difficult. I understand that many of these issues are out of the control of the airlines and the people responsible for the airline terminals themselves. I also recognize the need for security and don’t really expect those agents that are responsible for protecting travelers to be friendly and upbeat. But, is it too much to ask that once you get through security you enter a world of civility?

While no one has control of the weather, airlines do have complete authority to determine how passengers are treated. You would think that because of necessary security and unpredictable weather that airlines would make more of an effort to hire agents who were welcoming and treated passengers as valued customers.

Recently, when flying into Asheville, North Carolina, I was amazed by how a simple announcement from the ground crew made such a positive difference. Just before the doors of the plane were due to open, the customer service representatives from Asheville said, “Welcome to Asheville. We love our town and hope you do too!” I was thinking to myself, “Wow, that made me feel welcomed!”

Why can’t every city treat their arriving passengers in such an inviting manner? The city of Asheville gets my gold star for making me feel so welcomed, appreciated and valued as a person. What other cities would get your vote?

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About the Author ()

Richard R. Shapiro is Founder and President of The Center For Client Retention (TCFCR) and a leading authority in the area of customer satisfaction and loyalty. For 28 years, Richard has spearheaded the research conducted with thousands of customers from Fortune 100 and 500 companies amassing the ingredients of customer loyalty and what drives repeat business. His first book was The Welcomer Edge: Unlocking the Secrets to Repeat Business and The Endangered Customer: 8 Steps to Guarantee Repeat Business, was released in February, 2016.

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