In February this year I finally got to return to the UK after 6 months of living without all that I hold dear.
On the journey home, I became painfully aware of the disparity between companies that offer value added services and those that mistakenly attempt to extract every last cent from their customers.
Travelling from Saudi Arabia to the UK, I had to change flights at Istanbul airport and here we have the first culprit of excess extraction.
With cellphone Internet access now being used by most people you would think a major transport hub would offer a complimentary Internet service. Sadly the owners of this airport only offer WiFi via a 3rd party company who expects you to exchange your debit card details with a company you most likely have never heard of, I was not prepared to take that risk.
Thankfully I have access to one of the lounges where complementary WiFi and refreshments are on offer. This allowed me to relax, get some work done whilst monitoring my flight status and all this for a nominal fee that felt far too low for what I received in exchange.
Upon arriving in the UK, I made the wise decision to take the Heathrow Express which again provides complementary WiFi. This actually costs them nothing as their ticket inspectors use this to check your etickets and so it’s truly a value added service that has no financial impact on the provider.
Even taxis are getting into the game.
To complete my journey I used Discount Cabs of Lincoln, after booking I was surprised by a text message from them which contained both the estimated taxi arrival time and details of the car that would be collecting me.
For single travellers this simple complementary service could be a life saver.
With the intelligent application of technology we can all add much more value to the service we provide, no matter how mundane that service initially appears.
Whilst in town I had to buy a new pair of walking boots paid Blacks of Lincoln a visit. Simple process, walk in, pick boots and walk out, well not quite.
Blacks have a terrain test that the assistants insist you use to check the fit of your shoes. They do not have to offer this service but they know just how vital a good fitting pair of boots can be to their typical customer so they take pride in ensuring everyone leaves with the best fit possible.
By doing this it transpired I had to take the next size up and with this simple value added service, I got boots with a perfect fit and that would prove to be life savers later in the year.
So from this one trip to see my children, I experienced both the good and the bad of service provision.
The message is clear it does not take much to add a heightened service that customers will appreciate and be happy to recommend to others. This is why I have mentioned those that really surprised me on this trip and I would love to hear of companies that have done the same for you.