10 Bucks Goes a Long Way

WestJet’s website greets you with the slogan, “Because owners care.” They’re carefully building an advertising strategy around the fact that 85% of their employees are shareholders in the company and contribute an average of 13% of their salaries into share purchases. They make a big deal about their staff, boasting, “We have 31 Karens, 39 Lisas, 67 Jens, 67 Davids, 46 Michelles, 86 Michaels and 1 Yoga at WestJet.” And all of this is what’s supposed to motivate the staff to provide the best customer service in the industry.

I said “supposed to motivate” but I didn’t mean that… I should probably just say “motivating,” because it seems to be working. The proof of the pudding is all in what the customers are saying. The WestJest site serves up some testimonial fare, but as ever, the unsolicited third-party stories “in the wild” say so much. Like the unsolicited account of how WestJet staff went out of their way to return a $10 bill left by a passenger on the plane. Not calling after a passenger who is departing down the aisle, but phoning them at home hours later to arrange to return it.

A $10 bill. No way you could buy this kind of goodwill for ten times that. Well done!