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Customer Service: It's More Than Just Our Day Job!

Remember the time when you could pull up to the gas pump and two or three employees would run out to service your car? Yeah, I don’t either!

In this day and age, I believe consumers find themselves more taken aback when they receive great Customer Service, rather than receiving none at all. It’s happened to me. I’ve found myself saying, “wow, what just happened? That person was really nice to me.”

At Southwest Airlines, our Customers have grown to expect great Customer Service. I’m proud to say, for our Employees, delivering exceptional Customer Service is just what we do!

Southwest recently ranked number four on this year’s list of Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies. We can quickly accredit this great honor to our Employees and our legendary Customer Service, but where does this mission of Customer Service stem from? How does one define great Customer Service?

As found on the web, Customer Service can be defined as resources that a company provides to the people who buy or use its products or services.

Well there you have it folks; our best resource is our People! Since 1971, the Employees of Southwest Airlines have conducted their business based on good morals. Our President Emeritus Colleen Barrett taught our Employees to live by The Golden Rule:

Treat others as you want to be treated.

Could it be as simple as treating each other with respect, and treating our Customers like Family? That’s where our mission of Customer Service stems from. At Southwest Airlines, providing great Customer Service is more than just our job, it’s our mission!
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A lot of nice talk--and it used to be true. Is there any way to get through to Customer Service? I am still unable to log on to my account after trying every day since the supposed upgrade to the website was to be fixed. Just one silly "OOPS" message after another. The very patient agents say Customer Service, but, guess what--there's no way to get through. One evening, just after 8 p.m. CST (6 p.m. my time), I talked with one of the telephone agent's supervisor--a woman named Katherine--and she told me if I called back the next day, using the RR expedited line, that they were authorized to put RR customers through to customer service. I asked her three times if that would happen when I called back the next day, and she swore it would happen. Guess what? After checking and double-checking and being assured that an agent would put me through to customer service, I called the next day. The agent I talked with said they'd never heard of such a thing. I asked to speak to the agent's supervisor. She told me that they couldn't do it for me--only "A" customers (I'm only a lowly Companion Pass holder). Can you imagine how angry and frustrated I am with SW Airlines after wasting, literally, hours trying to find out something about my online Rapid Rewards???? Please find a way to fix it and put me through to Customer Service!! And, by the way, the least you all can do is apologize to your frustrated, angry, fed-up customers.
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I totally agree--Southwest's claims in its advertising of providing excellent service to its customers and helping the customers avoid fees is downright FALSE. About three months ago my mother and father booked a flight from Omaha Nebraska to Charleston South Carolina to go to a family wedding. Mom and Dad were traveling with my uncle who has Ataxia, a neurological disorder, and cannot walk without a walker and has to live in a nursing home. About a week ago an emergency arose with my dad's work and he could not go, which was an issue because my mom is 61 and it would be very hard for her to assist my uncle alone. I was able to cancel my plans and get free from work to travel with my mom to help her with my uncle. We called Southwest and explained to them this situation and asked to get the ticket changed from my father's name to my name so I could travel with my mom and uncle. I did not think that this would be an issue, especially since Southwest is the airline that runs commercials showing customers taking airline executives to "court" for charging them hundreds of dollars for changing flights, and even scolds the execs for lining their pockets by gouging their customers with unnecessary fees. Keep in mind, my mom, wasn't even trying to change flights, she just wanted to change the name on the ticket she bought from "James T" to "William T". After two calls waiting on hold for up to an hour, she was informed that Southwest would charge us $200 just to change the name on the ticket over a month in advance of our flight. She even explained the situation of my father's emergency and having to have at least one other person along to help with my uncle. After getting the run around and being told that changing a name on a flight would pose security concerns and all kinds of other excuses, she was finally able to get the fee reduced to $144. However, this is exactly the type of junk that Southwest says it doesn't do--this is the airline that says "no red tape" and "we don't charge our customers hundreds of dollars for changing flights"--but this is exactly what we experienced with Southwest. Keep in mind we CHOSE Southwest based upon the representations made in these commercials, and begrudgingly knocking $56 off of a $200 fee just to change the name on a ticket after repeatedly trying to get ahold of someone to speak to is hardly a concession, let alone representative of a company who provides superior customer service concerned about helping a disabled customer get to a family wedding.
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Thanx so much Edna of SouthwestHotels by way of Dallas, TX! I was just getn started and wouldnt you know it my Verizon Wireless needed a wire of charging as it does now every 5 hours with a new battery! Oh well Miss Edna I appreciate your hospitality in assisting me on this evening! Thanx again Carolyn Witcher Flint, MI
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If I could get through on the Customer Service line.....maybe I could experience this "exceptional Customer Service" you speak of! I understand you are experiencing high call volumes.....but finding a solution to this would be a great improvement. Longer hours? More representatives? Please do something!