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I had a pretty uneventful check in experience at KLIA2 today on my way back to Singapore. The lady issuing the boarding pass was courteous and efficient. She smiled and wished us a pleasant trip as we collected the boarding passes. No drama, pretty uneventful.

The personnel manning the departure gate, was stern and conducted his duty efficiently, checking my passport, boarding pass, then looking at me to see if the face matched the picture in my passport. He duly handed the documents back to me and nodded his head and gestured, “Go.” Tick, uneventful.

The immigration clearance was uneventful as well. The customs officer was as stoic and inspecting, as usual and as expected. He stamped my passport looked at me and handed me my document. Yep uneventful.

The officer at the baggage scan was courteous. He smiled and asked me to remove my belt and empty the contents of my pocket into the blue trays, before telling me to walk through the metal detector. Nothing beeped. That was uneventful as well.

The lady at the boarding gate; she too smiled as she checked that my name in the boarding pass and passport matched. She thanked us and smiled as well. Quite uneventful.

All this while I’m happy and pleased that things were as they should be whilst boarding a flight. No drama, everything going as it should.

When the announcement was made for the passengers at the rear of the plane to board first; we- my wife and I- made our way to the aircraft. Ours was one of the seats at the rear of the plane. So we stood in line, ready to board the aircraft. Pretty uneventful still and I’m still happy.

As I stepped into the plane, with my wife leading the way, the air crew asked her for the boarding pass stub. He let her pass. “We’re together,” I said. He gave me ‘that look’ and replied, “I still have to check.

“Ding! Ding! Ding! My uneventful day just got disturbed. Now I’m questioning his logic of insisting to check the stub and I’m thinking how bad the service is. “After all,” I thought, “didn’t they check the documents and boarding pass at every single check point along the way to the boarding gate? Why doesn’t this guy believe me?” I was irritated and upset.

It’s when the usual customer’s experience is suddenly disturbed or disrupted that there is a higher possibility of them being difficult from then on and they launch a tit-for-tat type behaviour to punish the person who “started it.”

The key to providing stellar customer service, could be to first think of what you must do to create the expected experience; think of how you can provide the best expected uneventful experience to keep your customer happy first. Without this knowledge, it is impossible to know how to ‘wow’ your customer. Without this knowledge, you will cause upsets.

Start the domino effect.
What customer service do you expect, if your not expecting great service, and provide that first.

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