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Nice touch United Airlines – *almost* perfect!

By Phil Verghis on January 18, 2011

Thanks to another generous helping of  freezing-rain-snow-mix, I sat in my car inching along the highway en route to Boston’s Logan Airport. Under normal circumstances I would have been at the airport by now. I decided to call United’s 1K line (aka “I-kid-you-not-you-fly-too-much” line). After I explained my situation I was told a note was put in my record stating there was a good chance I’d miss my flight and to put me on the waitlist for the next flight out.

As it turned out, I *did* make it to the airport in time – barely. As I dashed to the gate, I was asked if it was OK that they swapped my seat out with someone else as they wanted to be together for the flight. Obviously not a problem.

Fast forward 10 minutes after takeoff. The purser comes up and tells the lady in my original seat how glad they were that she made it on time; they made sure her seat wasn’t given away since she was a valued customer and that they really appreciated her business. As the purser walked away she-who-was-in-my-original-seat turned to her companion and said “See honey, I told you we should have checked in earlier, they must have known we checked in only 45 minutes before the flight’”. He replied with the world-weary sigh known to all long-married men. “Yes dear.”

I had to stifle my laugh. As we landed I told the purser and she burst out laughing too…

Superb service and even though it was delivered to the wrong person (quite understandably), I heard it and appreciated it.

Higher Education: Able to leapfrog traditional IT support or not?

By Phil Verghis on January 11, 2011

I got a call from Dennis Carter, the assistant editor of ecampus news, and was quoted in an article titled ‘College help-desk services lacking in tech use‘.

In general, many campuses tend to follow industry best practices, and fall short. It’s not surprising given the lack of resources. However, the good news is they can power past most of the best of the best in industry with smart use of social media for higher education support.  They have built-in communities that, properly nurtured, can be models for service and support.

Yes before I defected to the commercial world, I worked at universities… The team at Duke University won an award from Network World.


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