Business Articles

The right person for the job

A customer named James requested an itinerary via online travel website ‘Skyscanner’ and was surprised to find a 47 year (yes year!) stopover in Bangkok. In good humour, he posted this question on their Facebook page: “Hi Skyscanner. Just wondering what you’d recommend I do during the 47 years layover your website has suggested?”.

Hopefully, most companies would have replied quickly to this query with a response such as “We are terribly sorry for the error. We will send you a correct itinerary ASAP” – which would have been perfectly acceptable. However, this company took their response to a whole other level, responding to James (and many subsequent posts from others watching the exchange) with great wit and humour.

An employee named ‘Jen’ provided James with a suggested, humourous itinerary for his 47 years in Bangkok. A subsequent Facebook comment pointed out that in addition to the 47 year stopover, James would be travelling back in time. To which ‘Jen’ replied “This was all an elaborate hoax to divert everyone’s attention from our real plan of time travel”. The exchange ended with the comment “Skyscanner, you win at customer replies on the Internet for at least the next 47 years” and ‘Jen’ sending James package “with bits and bobs that might be useful for the next 47 years in Bangkok”.

‘Jen’ exhibited the perfect blend of politeness, humour and responsiveness. Her responses reflected the brand and image that I imagine an online based company would want to project. This exchange could have been quite different if Skyscanner had not responded (that is, James may have posted a subsequent negative comment). And they have certainly gained many potential customers in the process, who thoroughly enjoyed the exchange and will remember this company’s name next time they want to book travel.

It shows us all just how important employees are to the success of a business. They are a constant window into the core values of your business, as they will reflect the culture in which they work. Recruitment of the right staff is the first step, but just as important is the way you induct, train and foster them in their work. Skyscanner has done a fantastic job in employing a social media person who truly understands their online customers.


Michelle Grice writes a weekly column for business women in The Western Weekender

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Shel Design
PO Box 8142, Glenmore Park NSW 2745
0412 701 147
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Contact Us

Shel Design
PO Box 8142
Glenmore Park NSW 2745
0412 701 147
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mon-Thurs 9am-4pm
ABN: 88 695 161 542

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