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July 24, 2012


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David Weiner

David -

I've flown Finnair no less than 10 times and have never once had a bad experience. Given that sample size and my own experiences with other airlines, this fact is even more staggering. Glad you had a similar experience and I hope you enjoyed Lapland. I'll get up there some day...


Jorge Conceição

David your conclusion says everything! If the staff has got “that” behavior that’s because all the reasons you’ve mentioned in your article! Examples come from Top people! I work with “people” (staff, mainly sales people from other companies) and our claim is “right behavior-right results”! Wonder why? Excellent post (once again!)!

David Meerman Scott

David - I've only flown them once. Glad to hear that my experience was not a one-off.

Jorge - Yes, I do think that leading by example works. Thanks for jumping in.


Great post David and a good reminder for those at the top of any organization or any parent.

A leader leads by example not by Force. ~Sun Tzu.


That is an awesome picture every small element fell in place just as all the elements to Finnair customer's service!

I also try to focus on supporting companies that treat me well!

Colin Warwick

SAS is very good too. In fact any airline that isn't United, American, or Delta is quite good :-)

BTW, doesn't it creep you out that pilots can open their windows? Why is that? It seems to introduce a failure mode without any obvious benefit...

David Meerman Scott

Colin when a plane is in the air the pressure differential between inside & outside means the window (& doors) cannot be opened, so no, I don't have any issues with it.

Colin Warwick

At the risk of turning your marketing blog into an aircraft safety blog ( :-) )... Understood about the pressure... My concern was what happens if the pilot doesn't close it properly on the ground... I googled around and it seems 1) there is a warning to prevent this 2) the reason for the feature isn't just frivolous (so the pilot can wave at people). It has a serious purpose: if the plane ditches in water the pilot has to open the window to equalize the pressure so the doors can be opened... maybe I should have googled this *before* posting my comment... sorry for the spam...

David Meerman Scott

Colin - I didn't know any of that. Thanks for this. I fly a lot.

Steve Johnson

I too love great customer service. No matter how we advertise and promote ourselves, your "brand" results from real interactions with real people. And it's not that employees don't care; it's that employees are forbidden to care. There are rules and standards and scripts they must follow; being spontaneous offends one annoying customer and a new corporate guideline is introduced; fear of being off message forces everyone to be stale and saccharin and lifeless.

I'd wish for each president to say this mantra every day: Customers come second; employees come first. If you put employees first, they'll take care of your customers.

David Meerman Scott

Well said Steve!! Many thanks for taking the time. I've not heard that mantra before but it totally makes sense.

Nestor Volakis

I agree with Steve as well. You need to let people in your company express themselves. When employees are happy within their work environment they will tend to keep it that way and that will reflect on their actions and customer service.
Up to this day, I have never met a happy employee ready to "do harm" on his business. Yet, I have witnessed stressed and unhappy employees "transmitting" their displeasure to the customers they served through their actions.

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