Living Our Values: Service

June 9, 2016
One of our Dittman CARES values is Service. We define it as “consistently exceeding internal and external client expectations.” Recently, Gail Martin, a customer service program manager, really delivered on that promise. Gail got a call from a participant who had booked a dream vacation package to Belize using her points on our Rewards Mall. In fact, she had even added to the trip using her own funds. The package was completely non-refundable and the dates were coming up very soon. The participant, however, unexpectedly faced a serious medical crisis and could no longer travel. She understood that the trip was non-refundable, but was hoping that somehow we could help. The first contacts Gail made just repeated the terms of the booking: no refunds, no changes. Determined to do the best for the participant, Gail didn’t take no for an answer and dug deeper, asking to speak to managers and working her way up the hierarchy of the travel partners. She tapped the knowledge of our travel team for contacts at the highest levels of the airline, and called the hotel in Belize to speak with on-site management. On a daily basis, over several weeks, Gail made the case for waiving these policies to help one person who could really use a little good news. She followed up on unreturned calls and chased down decision-makers. And she won. American Airlines and Coco Beach Resort Belize both agreed to make an exception and to refund the package in full. This will mean that the participant, when the crisis has passed, will still be able to use her reward to get away for a well-deserved break. It also means that the participant and her family have recovered the additional funds they invested at a time when that is especially helpful. Gail’s perseverance and her complete dedication to doing the right thing for the participant made it possible. She made an exceptional effort and got an exceptional result. And American Airlines and Coco Beach Resort Belize earned new fans and gained customer loyalty. We’re proud of our customer service team, all of whom share Gail’s commitment to helping people every day. And we’re glad that Gail was able to deliver on our promise to our clients in an important way, when it mattered most.

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