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Above and Beyond

As I mentioned in my last blog, my wife and I were recently on vacation in Arles, Provence. While Arles was spectacular and Roman ruins were mind boggling--in part because they are not ruined but still being used today--we also wanted to explore other parts of Provence. The best way to do that was to rent a car, so rent a car, we did.

Being that Hertz in Arles did not have any cars for a week--perhaps a blog topic for another day--we ended up renting from Europcar. I called Europcar and in my very poor French tried to make my desire known. With an enthusiastic voice, the agent asked if I would be more comfortable speaking in English. I was and grateful she was able and willing to come to my assistance.

They had a car and after a brief 15 minute walk from our AirBnB, I was at the counter to pick it up. The same agent greeted me and was a delight to work with. She helped me select the right car, was helpful and even read my mind when she made fun of all the forms the French made me sign to rent the car. Fifteen minutes later, I was in the car and drove back to pick up my wife, so we could start our exploration of Provence. The first place we visited were the ochre landforms captured in the blog's picture.

When we got the car, we put our destination into my phone’s GPS. When we went to plug the phone into the car’s USB port, we were chagrined to be unable to find it. We did find a cigarette lighter that could be used but we did not have that adapter with us. So back to Europcar we went. Upon seeing us pull back into the lot, the agent bounded out and asked if there was an issue. When we explained our problem, she dove into the car to show us where the USB port must be. However, she, too, could not find one. We explained that we would feel more comfortable in a foreign land assured that our phone would not run out of battery.

She empathized with our desire and noticed the cigarette lighter adapter. She told us not to worry and went to her car and lent us her personal cigarette lighter adapter. We protested that she should not do that, but she insisted that she wanted us to have a great trip and was sure we would return the adapter to her. So off we went.

That rental car agent was exceptional. She went well above her responsibilities to ensure we had a great trip, and we were grateful to her and to Europcar.

How many people in your organization would be willing to go above and beyond to ensure your customers have an outstanding experience? As a leader what are you doing to encourage your people to offer that kind of service?

People remember the excellent; they take the good for granted.


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