My family returned home from a recent vacation via Southwest Airlines. From the moment we entered the terminal, I was pleasantly surprised by the attention and flexibility Southwest’s employees offered my infant daughter. We were guided to a special area to check in and offered an extra seat on the plane at no charge for our child’s numerous supplies. At every opportunity, we were provided with service and care above our expectations.

Meanwhile, at another airport, my brother-in-law and his wife flew on one of Southwest’s competitors. Their original flight was delayed. Then, after finally boarding, they waited on the tarmac for nearly three hours only to be told their flight had been cancelled. When they returned to the airport the following morning, they learned their flight had again been delayed and later that flight was cancelled. Finally, they resorted to taking separate flights in an attempt to get home 24 hours behind schedule.

These opposite travel experiences show the vast disparity in service and customer care offered by different airlines. The question is: What type of service does your organization provide? What can you do to treat your clients the way Southwest treats babies?

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John Scranton is an insurance agency marketing expert and vice president of StartUpSelling, Inc. which helps small businesses with lead generation, sales, marketing, website design and branding. For more information and tips from John, visit www.StartUpSelling.com, or go to his blog at http://startupselling.com/blogs/johnscranton.