Work/Life: The Conversation

Who said no one is listening? Other than Kelsey Grammar’s character Frasier famously in the comedy of the same name, that is?

Who said no one is listening?


Other than Kelsey Grammar’s character Frasier famously in the comedy of the same name, that is?

I’ll admit I’ve said it. But, with a tip of the hat to the fictional KACL radio station host, I stand corrected. The man behind the curtain learned about the incident in which I not only missed a flight to Madrid but had the less than distinct pleasure of paying for it all over again. To recap briefly, I missed my flight because my iPhone flight tracking program told me that flight was an hour later than it actually was. At the time I thought, Who would have figured daylight savings time would be more of a tech challenge than Y2K?

Yet, amazingly, the owner of the software company that makes Flight Track Pro for iPhone — Mobiata — was listening. He read my blog.

Here was the latent power of social media in the flesh. For my part, it was inspiring to learn that customer service still exists and that people still care. Mobiata emailed an apology, explaining that their app really did experience a glitch in calculating daylight savings time, which they had since fixed. Talk about symbiosis. Here social media closed the loop in correcting customer perception about a problem that had already been detected and corrected. Social media allowed a customer-vendor conversation to happen without the two parties ever talking to each other. The channel worked.

Because Flight Track Pro is such a key app for me, I watched it like a hawk on my most recent trip. No problems. The data thus far have been accurate. The time zone thing has not recurred. While I’ll never again take a flight time for granted, it’s good to know that not all technology is just faceless devices. There are human beings behind the mobile information channels upon which we business travelers are becoming so very dependent.

Smart customer service obviously is more important the more a company relies on technology. After all, sometimes it’s not how well companies act but how well they react. It actually makes you feel pretty good that someone out there is paying attention through such channels as blogs.


Somewhere, out in the electronic ether, someone is listening.


Road Warrior • Miami •

About the author

I travel a lot, like many of us. And I work for Amadeus, the largest transaction processing and IT company in the world serving the travel industry.