When your customers thank you, are you listening?


Amtrak Acela Powercar 2016 speeds through Old ...

Amtrak's Acela is the easiest way to get to New York. Image via Wikipedia

My co-worker Rich Pesce has an interesting story about why it’s important to let your customers thank you.

If you know Rich, you know he loves his iPod and losing it on a recent trip to New York on Amtrak’s Acela was not a good way to start a business trip.

But it turns out the iPod wasn’t lost for long.

A thoughtful train conductor named George Link spotted the lonely iPod in a seat and matched it to Rich because of the ticket receipt Rich had left behind.

Though the ticket receipt didn’t have Rich’s telephone number, it did have his Amtrak frequent traveler number. With some detective work, Link was able to figure out Rich’s number and leave a message that the iPod had been found. It was waiting for Rich in Lost and Found at Penn Station the next day.

By any measure, Link and Amtrak deserved a thank you and Rich offered that via Twitter:

But sadly, did Amtrak tweet back? Nope. Amtrak missed the chance to connect with a happy customer who was thrilled with their service and the extra mile their employee had gone.

So often, customers use the Internet to complain about their customer experience. (I’ve certainly done that as a customer and I do my part in responding to Sprint’s unhappy customers who vent on the Net when Sprint lets them down.)

But what about when your customer just wants to say thank you? Shouldn’t your social media team be there to say, “You’re welcome”? Isn’t that a great way to cement customer loyalty?

I’m hoping that someone in Amtrak’s office will see this blog post and share it with George Link and his team on Acela. Even better, maybe someone from Amtrak will leave a comment below offering to do just that.

I know this much. On my next Acela ride to New York, I’m going to ask the conductor if he knows George Link.

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5 responses to “When your customers thank you, are you listening?

  1. Thanks John. Great post! What I most would like to see from Amtrak is recognition for Mr. George Link. He went out of his way for me and I’m sure I’m not the first passenger he has helped. It took some legwork on his part to track me down after he found my iPod and I’m grateful to him that he thought it was worth the effort.

  2. Hello. I work for Amtrak, but am not in any way an official spokesman. I saw your post, and will pass it along to the Communications and Product Line people. Hopefully you will hear from them. Thanks so much for riding, and even more so for speaking up about the great service you recieved. I used to read all of the customer mail in the Northeast, and not too many folks take the time to do so.

    • Ran, thank you so much. I love Amtrak and have usually always had a good experience.

      What I love about your comment is that you’re not a spokesman for Amtrak — you’re just an employee who wants to help. Thanks so much for stopping by and helping to make sure Mr. Link’s good work is recognized by the management at Amtrak.

  3. Thanks Ran! I have reached out to Amtrak on Twitter a few times regarding Mr. Link’s dedication to both Amtrak riders and his job but have not heard anything back. I was thrilled when John decided to use his blog to help tell my story. As someone who works to empower our own employees at Sprint to embrace social media as tool to serve as online ambassadors for the brand – it is great to see you doing the same for Amtrak.

    • Please either leave a comment for me here, or send me a tweet at @ranbarton if you do hear further from the powers that be here on the railroad. Thank you.

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