I stood in the back of a Singapore Airlines flight, watching the attendants work. The meals had been served and cleared. Their attention was on providing an occasional drink and fulfilling passenger orders for Kris Shop items. One passenger was insistent about getting something. The scene was confusing; the item is either in the cart or it isn’t. There is rarely anything to debate about after the flight attendants have carefully searched the cart. The woman was insistent! She clearly knew what she wanted.
As the transaction finished, I had to ask. “What was that all about?”
“She wanted a discount but she did not have her card. The number she gave us that she had on a piece of paper is not registered in the system. She did not like our answer. She kept insisting that she deserved a 10% discount.”
“What did you do?”
“I gave her the discount.”
“That was nice of you. Why did it take so long to get to the outcome she was looking for?”
“Without a proper PPS number [number on the card of a type of frequent flyer], the discount has to come out of my pocket.”
“You just paid for that?”
“It was the right thing to do for the customer.”
I wish ever customer service manager that has ever worked for me understood her perspective. She had taken a decision that was going to cost her $20 for something that was good for another.
“Will any PPS number work?”
I am still thinking about her choice. She had no idea that I would ask or act. From her perspective, she could see how the company’s values touched her sight. She connected the dots. I wonder how many others I have met are doing the same thing. Just because I do not ask or observe, doesn’t mean that actions are not underway. As I think about it, I realize David saw something I often do not; “God holds the high center, he sees and sets the world’s mess right.” (Psalm 9.7)