Calling your tour operator at 3:30 am? “Absolutely NOT,” is my immediate answer. But, we just did.
A travel agent called WildChina’s US office at 3:30 pm EDT, which makes it exactly 3:30 am in the middle of the night in Beijing, to tell us that her client just notified her that her flight from Guilin to Beijing was delayed from midnight, and now she’d be arriving at 5 am in Beijing.
Could WildChina make sure that someone would pick her up at that early hour?
My colleague and I looked at each other, and answered her firmly, “YES.” That traveler is a WildChina client, and there is no way that we are leaving our travelers stranded at the airport after a full night’s delays to wait another 3 hours before their car ride comes.
But, to make it happen, there was no option but to call our Beijing office colleague. To our happy relief, the staff picked up the phone, and said that she had been monitoring the flights and had already adjusted the pick-up. The clients, she said, were to be picked up at 5 am!
When I heard this, I couldn’t help but feel myself getting emotional from this. How often in the corporate world do you find a staff more dedicated to clients than the staff of WildChina?
If anyone called me at 3:30 am, I’d be really mad! (By the way, this includes my father and my husband.) They know to avoid calling after 10pm my time. But this? A phone call from an overseas office in the middle of the night about a car pick up for somebody you’ve never met? Our Beijing colleague, Maya Ren, took it with such grace and professionalism!
I guess I got emotional particularly because the day before, another WildChina staff found out that there was misunderstanding about the deadline of a VIP travel proposal. It was due on Wednesday US time. She found out at 10 pm Beijing time Wednesday evening – which meant, unless she pulled an all-nighter, that there was no way she’d be able to deliver. I was almost ready to call the client and tell them to wait another day, but she and her teammate told me to wait. They would work on it then, and sleep the next day.
At 2 am Beijing time, 2 pm on Wednesday afternoon in New York, the beautiful proposal arrived in client’s email box! Amy Sun and Sunshine Shang did an incredible job putting it together.
I was rendered speechless by the amazing commitment from the WildChina team in Beijing. Thank you!