This post is a summary, to collate everything that I have learnt since working in customer-facing roles in Aviation. It may also be helpful to you if you’re just starting out in a Customer Service role, finishing Uni and looking for a job, or hoping to become Cabin Crew. This one’s for you!
Kindness is Key
I can’t stress enough how important it is to be as kind as possible to everyone that you practically can, regardless of how they interact with you. Give every single person the benefit of the doubt, and never judge someone based on their appearance, or any other fact for that matter. Maya Angelou once said “People may forget you, but they will always remember how you made them feel” and I strive to bring that into my quotidian life.
It’s all in the Delivery
People are much more likely to accept what you are telling them if it is delivered in a professional, honest and respectful manner. Try to avoid using negative phrases and start sentences with “I understand” and “What I can do for you is..”
It is far more pleasant to discover that your business class upgrade is unavailable, or that your meal choice is finished though kind words and a compassionate tone, rather to be met with negations. Negations will instantly make your customers perturbed. Not the best way to spend an 8+ hour flight! Plus, it is plain good manners to be polite!
Frequently, customers will divulge every single bad thing that has ever happened – in front of all and sundry-and direct this criticism at you. They don’t care if you can’t control the weather, their information or the integrity of their aircraft. All they see is you, representing the place where you work and they let loose! Instead of becoming defensive, or abrupt, simply accept that they are upset and see what it is YOU can do to solve it. It doesn’t matter if it’s not your problem, don’t pass the blame, work to resolve it. When the accolades come in, they will be directed at you solely, and the reward will come back tenfold!
Trust Your Gut
Recently, I was asked to feature in a marketing campaign at work. This was an exciting* opportunity, and I was thrilled. Even though there was a team to do my hair and makeup, I was sure to wake up even earlier to do my own hair and makeup with Emirates-like precision. I felt prepared, relaxed and ready to take on the world. The point is, if you feel as though you should do something, it is probably the right move, whether that is getting to work on time, taking up some advice or helping a colleague out.
Never Underestimate the Power of Social Media
You may not know is that one of the reasons that I decided to pursue this career path can be traced back to blogs. I devoured blog after blog about travelling, about flying, about Cabin Crew and the Interview Process. My main inspiration was Rachel from The Dubai Diaries. Rachel has been flying for more than 5 years, and now works in First Class for Emirates. She is also, now, a dear friend, whom I visit whenever I can get back to Dubai! We met solely because of her blog, and through me starting my website. I’ve received messages from would-be Cabin Crew, and those navigating the fields of repatriation, too! Some of them I’ve even met in real life. If you care enough about something, chances are other people care, too.
I have always been transparent with my blog, my work and my life on social media, and it has been a pleasure meeting and connecting with like minded people. So if you follow someone on Instagram or any other social platform, I encourage you to be brave and reach out! You never know just who you might be inspiring!
So there you have it. After almost two years in the Lounge environment, and more than 5 years’ experience in Aviation (and almost 11 years in Customer Service) these are my tried and tested tips!
This post was inspired by my brother: he too is on a customer facing role and absolutely killing it! We had a conversation about our jobs recently, and he said that you have to cherish the good interactions that you have, in order to make the not-so-good-ones worthwhile! He’s right 🙂
Safe and sunny encounters,
*(albeit not so new- I used to do modelling classes many, many moons ago)