Why I Tipped The Singer Guy At PDX

I am by no means a heavy business traveler however, my work does take me up to Eugene, Oregon every so often.  From San Diego there are no direct flights to Eugene so I always have my pick of which airport I want to layover at.  After learning the lesson that flying through San Francisco only leads to delays, cancellations and heartbreak, I end up in Portland a lot.

Since we started this blog, I find my self more attentive not only to the customer service I’m tipjarreceiving, but also to the customer service going on all around me.  On my most recent trip to Eugene I spent my two hour layover in the piano lounge at the Portland airport.  It’s a great place to catch up on email and hear some live music.

The singer of the day was John English who performs a tribute to Frank Sinatra.  As I watched him, he didn’t just sing.  He was constantly making connections with the crowd as they passed by.  Sometimes it was simply eye contact and a smile and others it was stopping to say hi to a regular who was headed home.  I even witnessed a couple approach and say “You sung at a party for us last year.  It’s great to see you.”  Many approached him to give him tips and in every case he responded with a “Thank you.”

A few thoughts hit me as I observed Mr. English:

1. He has customers
2. He knows who his customers are
3. He actively works to engage his customers
4. He appreciates his customers

This is nothing new but when you look at this example you begin to realize EVERYBODY HAS CUSTOMERS and they should know WHO they are and actively ENGAGE and APPRECIATE them.

The reason I left a tip was not because I love Frank Sinatra songs.  I’m sorry if that disappoints some of you.  The real reason I left a tip is because I witnessed and received great customer service.

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Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Experience at FCR, the premiere provider of outsourced call center and business process solutions. He has more than 17 years of experience as a customer service and experience professional. He is co-founder of the Customer Service Life blog and a regular contributor. Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.

3 comments

  • Great example and story, this is such a great blog to stay focused.

  • Jenny Dempsey

    Everybody has customers! This is SO important. I love how engaging this person was with others around him while crooning the tunes. The term “fans” is just another word for “customers”. They are paying the bills for that person. It’s all business, ultimately. I wonder if you can find Mr. English and tell him how awesome he really is (I’m sure he’d love to hear that).

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