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Airport Concessions Recognizes Outstanding Customer Service
By Pamela Wilson

A restroom attendant, fast-food server or rental car clerk may provide the lasting impression a customer receives of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. That’s why the Department of Aviation is paying close attention to those interactions and recognizing persons who go above and beyond to provide good service. Fifteen such standouts were recently recognized as the first class to graduate from the “Concession Diplomats” program. Concessions management staff launched the program in June 2006 to recognize top performers from retail, food and beverage and service businesses and to provide them skills to increase their effectiveness.

Concession Diplomat Shanee Hayes

The Department selected participants last year by combing through scores of acclamation letters customers have written about specific employees. From those letters and with input from the employees’ managers, the Department selected 18 candidates to be members of the Concession Diplomat Training Program.

The program participants first participated in a customer service orientation class called, “Knock Your Socks Off Service.” Then they attended monthly training on how to continue providing stellar service, while inspiring peers to do the same. The training sessions examined common issues via group discussion and problem solving processes. The participants culminated their training with a graduation ceremony on February 9.

Airport General Manager Benjamin DeCosta, who provided the keynote address to the graduates, posed a real-life incident he and his wife encountered at a local movie theater. Then he asked the class for solutions. The effective responses demonstrated the graduates’ superior customer service skills.

“You have the challenge of providing great service to people when you don’t know what they’ve experienced before they arrived at your counter. That’s not easy,” DeCosta told the graduates. “You have been selected as an elite class of Airport employees because of one or more positive interactions that have elicited written praise from our customers.”

The Diplomats will wear distinctive lanyards denoting their status as providers of high-quality customer service. Business owners and managers, all of whom are supportive of the program, have given Diplomats authority to make certain decisions and resolve minor customer concerns. The graduates will also become mentors to a new class of Diplomats that will begin this summer.

To learn more about Hartsfield-Jackson's Customer Service department, click here.

© 2007 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.


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Airport Concessions Recognizes Outstanding Customer Service
Concession Diplomats'
pinning ceremony.