Wednesday, January 09, 2008

CES Report I - Getting There

Learned two lessons from my trip to Vegas yesterday.

1) Wives are always right. Repeat as needed.

2) Even if you can't define customer service, you know it when you see it.

On lesson one: I was scheduled to fly from Sacramento to San Francisco and then on to Vegas. This was to take 40 minutes and save $100.

My wife travels less than I do. But she piped in: "That's never worthwhile. Pay a little more and fly direct."

So on the day I fly, we have gale-force winds and almost no one's getting out of Sacramento. My flight goes from "on time" to "delayed" and then to "cancelled."

Instead of a flight, I now have a story. I'd rather have a flight than a story. But it's a good story.

The sign flipped from delayed to cancelled. Instantly, United Airlines announced that everyone from that flight should go to the international desk, collect our luggage, adn get on a bus.

Within fifteen minutes, everyone who needed to catch a connecting flight was on a blue Super Shuttle bus to SFO.

100 minutes later, everyone on my bus made their connection in San Fran.

I was scheduled to have dinner with Arlin Sorensen, so I called him to let him know that I may be late. When I told him that United had put me on a bus to S.F., he said "What?" An appropriate reaction because you just don't expect that kind of excellent service.

United can't do anything about the weather. But they sure put a premium on getting me to my connecting flight.

This kind of effort is not in the contract. It's not what you expect. It don't ever expect it to happen again.

But I recognize that it makes me feel good about this relationship. That's customer service.

What extraordinary things have you done for your clients recently?



Had dinner with Arlin and Nancy, plus Dave Sobel.

Good company. Vegas buffet food.


Live video cast from CES

Last night was the meeting time for the Sacramento SBS Technology User Group. So I cranked up the laptop, hooked up the video cam, connected via sprint wireless card, and "poof" we had ourselves a video report. I dialed Bob Nitrio via Skype.

So we had CES reports from Dave, Arlin, and me. At that point, Dave was the only one who'd actually been to the show. Arlin did chat with the crowd about the Heartland Technology Group.

Tonight I'll try to connect with the Portland Technology Wizards.


Spent the evening with Dave. We need to connect once or twice a year to make sure we exchange all the good ideas about what our companies are up to.

Dave was also gracious enough to show me how to lose as slowly as possible in BlackJack.

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