If you travel as much as I do, and care as much about customer experience, you stick with brands that provide exceptional service and reward loyalty. As the leader of a customer experience practice who believes in the power of CX on loyalty, it’s understandable that within reasonable cost variations, I fly the same airline, stay at the same family of hotels, and frequent the same restaurant brands wherever I go. You likely do the same thing. We are creatures of habit and when our choices are rewarded with good experiences, we have very little reason to change course.

As I am in the business of helping recognize exceptional service, I always remember names and get to know the flight staff, the check-in team at my most frequent airports, or the guy who works the graveyard shift in my hotel who happily gives me a few more coffee pods in the middle of the night. When they do it right, I go out of my way to be sure they are personally recognized and write a note using the prescribed method on the brand’s website.

Afterwards, I invariably get a note back from the brand stating how great it was to get a compliment like this and I can be assured that said employee will be recognized by management. Why is it, then, that the next time I go through that airport/lounge/hotel lobby/restaurant and ask that employee if they got the feedback, they have not?

When I hand global brands the most powerful form of positive feedback, it pays dividends well beyond that single staff member called out by name. This feedback can go to the very core of their culture, yet it is left to rot on the vine. This is more than a shame, it verges on the edge of professional negligence in the service industry. It is unacceptable to leave front line people with no encouragement and positive reinforcement when they do the job well. While all brands hyper-focus on complaints, there is no focus on the positives, no celebrating and encouraging right behavior.

I’m not naming brands here, but a copy of this post will be going to the heads of Customer Experience at all of the brands I have witnessed such neglect in hopes I can help them to see the light. To all reading, I challenge you and your organization to do better to inspire your teams with great feedback – no matter the industry.

As CEO at Market Force Information, Ray’s talent to manage change across complex businesses enables clients to overcome challenges faced in their customer experience initiatives. With a global perspective built on 25 years of experience as a senior-level executive, Ray is a champion of innovation and a forward-thinking strategic visionary.

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