Customer Service Awards

“We are good but we need to be great.”
— GMCVB group strategy meeting

“Miami is a city coming into its own—if you embrace it, it will become your own.”
— GMCVB group strategy meeting

The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) wants to hear about your WOW customer service story. Please tell us how you helped a visitor enjoy their stay in Greater Miami and the Beach. Click here to send email. Make sure to include contact information for our special drawing coming soon. Details to follow.

A passenger at the Port of Miami was getting ready to board a cruise when his mother’s personal wheelchair broke. I found one of our wheelchairs and made arrangements for her to borrow the wheelchair during their cruise. I made this all happen quickly and they were able to board the ship on time. I still remember how happy the lady was to still be able to go on vacation with her family.

— Jessie, attendant at the Seaport

I dropped off a passenger at his hotel and went on another call. I later realized that the previous passenger had left his wallet on the back seat. I went back to his hotel which was clear across town and dropped off his wallet. The guy was so grateful, it was rewarding to see his face!

— Peter, Taxi Driver

One of our customers left her cell phone in the restroom of our restaurant. I took her cell phone to our manager who was able to locate her husband. They were actually on their way to the airport to catch a flight home. Thanks to our efforts, she was able to retrieve her purse and still make their flight!

— Dianne, Waitress at a French restaurant in Coral Gables

Salmon Iqbal from Subway is always ready to help. One day in January he noticed that there was a young lady crying by his restaurant and quickly approached her to find out what was wrong. The passenger was greatly distressed. She was about to get on a flight to Cuba when she realized she'd lost her permanent resident card. Without it she could not proceed with plans to visit relatives. Thinking she might have thrown it in a garbage can, she looked in it but wasn't successful. Mr Iqbal thought of a possible solution; he walked her to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) office where she obtained a temporary travel permit. Before sending her on her way he made sure she had some lunch. Salmon didn't stop his good deed there. After she left, he decided to go to the dumpster where their trash is taken, geared up with the appropriate clothing and searched for the resident card. When he found the card he contacted the lady's husband who then sent it via UPS to Cuba. The customer was so grateful that upon her return she brought him a token of appreciation (a picture from Cuba).

— (Courtesy of Miami International Airport)

Taxi driver Ikram Khan was driving a couple he had picked up at Miami International Airport to the La Quinta Hotel on Le Jeune Road. Overwhelmed with excitement for their upcoming Miami visit, the passengers would soon experience an all too familiar travel mishap. After arriving at their hotel and paying Mr. Khan for his service - the couple realized something was missing. To their horror, all of their travel documents and a wallet containing $5,000 had been left behind in the taxi. Fortunately for the passengers, Mr. Khan took it upon himself to return the wallet and travel documents intact. The elated couple was ever grateful for Mr. Khan's outstanding customer service and insisted on providing a commendation for his kindness. This wasn't Mr. Khan's lone recognition for outstanding service; he previously received similar accolades in 2010 for returning a passenger's purse that had been left in his cab after a trip from the airport.

— (Courtesy of Miami-Dade County Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources)

A passenger and his wife arrived at Miami International Airport (MIA) after an unfortunate day of travel that resulted in more than 12 hours of delays and missed connections. Exhausted and grouchy, the couple picked up their bags and exited to their vehicle which was parked at the Flamingo Garage. Much to their dismay, they quickly realized one of the car's tires was completely flat. An MIA tow truck was dispatched to the scene to assist the tired couple who was very eager to get home. Representative Richie Rodriguez displayed a commendable disposition quickly lifting the passenger's spirits with his compassion and willingness to assist. Thanks to the swift response, the couple was able to finally head home after getting their tire fixed. In a letter detailing their account, the passenger wrote, "As a business owner and 27 year law enforcement officer, I understand the importance of customer service and in treating all people with respect…we wish that the dozens of employees we dealt with at different airports would take customer service lessons from Mr. Rodriguez."

— (Courtesy of Miami International Airport)

Earlier this summer, a passenger flying into Miami International Airport (MIA) for summer vacation ran into a common and highly unfortunate circumstance. After picking up her luggage at baggage claim, the passenger hailed a taxi to take her from MIA to the South Beach hotel where she would be staying. Panic struck when she realized her brand new iPhone had been left in the car's back seat soon after arriving at her destination. With no record of her driver or the vehicle she had just been driven in, she decided to track the phone via GPS and call for assistance. Much to her relief, operator Mario Lima was ready to help. Staying in contact with the distraught passenger for almost two hours while she tracked the device, Mr. Lima eventually helped her track down the precise vehicle and taxi driver. It was thanks to Mr. Lima's assistance that the traveler was able to recover her brand new phone and not have her vacation plans compromised. In a letter detailing the account, the passenger wrote "Mario was extremely helpful and more than patient…I really appreciated all of his help and just wanted him to be recognized for his over the top customer service and positive personality."

— (Courtesy of Miami International Airport)

Hoping for a memorable South Beach dinner date with her husband, a customer arranged taxi cab transportation to a restaurant in 701 Washington Avenue in Miami Beach. All was well until the passenger realized she had left her pocketbook in the taxi soon after walking in. Credit cards, insurance information, her driver's license and cash were all in the pocketbook. Extremely upset at the loss of all her important documents, the passenger called the police but eventually came to the realization that without a record of the driver and vehicle, there wasn't much she could do. The couple ordered drinks and proceeded to take a look at the menu; 40 minutes later the passenger notes her husband went outside to make a phone call in what would turn out to be lucky timing. Suddenly, taxi driver Jean R. Bastien "miraculously appeared" with the lost pocketbook in hand. All contents were returned intact. Ever thankful for Mr. Bastien's professionalism and honesty, the passenger wrote "I am so grateful…it was refreshing to find such an honest man."

— (Courtesy of Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources)

Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) employee and Kendall resident Manuel Tamara, an Auxiliary Airport Specialist at the Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport (TNT), was named Miami International Airport's July Employee of the Month for assisting a pilot who had to make an emergency landing at the airport, which is located near the Miami-Dade/Collier County border in the middle of the Everglades. After pilot Cain Smith departed from Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport in his Cessna 172 aircraft en route to Orlando, he had to make an emergency landing at TNT Airport because of mechanical problems and bad weather. After Smith made numerous unsuccessful attempts to find a ride to Miami and the airport was about to close for the day, Tamara offered to take Smith on his motorcycle 30 miles to the closest hotel and also shared his dinner with him. "Manny was kind and compassionate during the long distance ride on his motorcycle late at night…He is a true asset to your team and you are extremely lucky to have him" said Smith. "Manny's actions exemplify what customer service is all about – putting the customer's needs first," said Dickie Davis, MDAD Terminal Operations and Customer Service Division Director. "For that reason, we are extremely proud to name him our Employee of the Month."

— (Courtesy of Department of Miami-Dade Aviation Department)

American Airlines Ramp Crew Chief Ian Allen was named Miami International Airport's August Employee of the Month for helping a group of passengers on a delayed flight get their bags on different connections - all after his shift had already ended. While working a delayed flight in July, Allen overheard a passenger desperately seeking to re-book her departure so she wouldn't miss her connecting flight out of the country, which was only available three times per week. Allen offered to locate the checked bag, re-tag it and personally deliver it to her new flight. Afterwards, he located the passenger, reassured her that her baggage was on her flight and gave her the claim check. The passenger was so moved that she broke down in tears of joy. The airline gate agent handling the delayed flight contacted Allen about more passengers needing the same assistance with getting their luggage on other connecting flights and Allen stayed longer to assist all of them as well. Members of MIA's Rewards and Recognition Committee and American Airlines co-workers surprised Allen on the job on September 25 with a recognition celebration and presented him with his Employee of the Month certificate of appreciation. Winning the August Employee of the Month award makes Allen eligible for MIA's Employee of the Year award, which includes a vacation getaway.

— (Courtesy of Miami International Airport)

A passenger was recently traveling from Miami International Airport (MIA) to San Diego when his wife set a small pouch down containing credit cards, cash and even her driver's license at a Cuban restaurant adjacent to a departing gate. A restaurant employee found the forgotten pouch and turned it into Aviation Department employee Luis Perez. Never hesitating to do the right thing, Mr. Perez brought the pouch with all its contents to the lost and found department which returned the content to the thankful couple in California. In a letter detailing their gratitude, the couple said, "We are very thankful for Mr. Perez's honesty and would like to commend him for his actions".

— (Courtesy of Miami-Dade Aviation Department)

Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) Terminal Operations Senior Agent and City of Miami resident Antonio de Bache was named Miami International Airport's (MIA) Employee of the Month on November 1, 2013 for helping to reunite a mentally ill person with her family after she wandered to MIA from Miami Beach. While visiting from Louisiana, the mentally ill woman disappeared from her son's Miami Beach home in September. The woman's family suspected MIA might be one of the places she'd likely head to so they notified airport officials. De Beche received the missing person report from the family and immediately issued a Be-on-the-look-out (BOLO) notice to all airport staff, giving the family his cell phone number to stay in close contact. After missing for 24 hours the woman was finally located at the MIA hotel lobby. De Beche took the woman under his wing buying her food from his own picket and securing a hotel room for her until her family could travel from Louisiana to Miami to pick her up. "By the grace of God we were able to get in touch with Mr. de Beche who then became an angel to our family" said the woman's family in a thank you letter received a few days later. Members of MIA's Rewards and Recognition Committee and co-workers surprised de Beche at his workplace on November 1st presenting him with his Employee of the Month certificate of appreciation.

— (Courtesy of Miami International Airport)

Traveling with a 3.5 year-old can certainly be a challenge. Traveling with a 3.5 year-old old and a newborn can be...very very challenging! That was the case for a passenger traveling through Miami International Airport (MIA) who recently traveled alone with his two young kids. The dedicated father parked his car off-site and realized that he had left the car seat on the baggage carousel as he was getting ready to load the kids into the car. Unsure what to do, he loaded his two small kids into the vehicle without the car seat and returned to the airport where officer Peter Ferrer was kind enough to run inside and find the much-needed car seat. The very stressed out but now very relieved father called officer Ferrer "a life saver!"

— (Courtesy of Miami International Airport)

Delta Air Lines Customer Service Agent Niobe Rowan, an East Kendall resident, was recently named Miami International Airport's October Employee of the Month for her most recent act of customer service – quickly rebooking a flight for a couple starting a vacation the day after they missed their connection to the Caribbean. A flight attendant contacted Rowan after a couple became very upset when they missed their connection to St. Kitts due to bad weather. She immediately took action to ensure the couple made a flight the next day. The action was the latest of many for Rowan, who has been recognized several times on Delta Air Lines' Wall of Fame that highlights outstanding customer service by the 70 employees at Delta Air Lines Miami station. Additionally, Rowan started a drive in 2012 to ship care packages to the U.S. Military stationed in Afghanistan that has resulted in more than 1,500 packages sent to soldiers since she started her campaign. The campaign, US2YOU, has generated support from Delta Air Lines co-workers in Miami and across the country.

— (Courtesy of Miami International Airport)

Here is a special "Thank You” letter from "AirBus,” a multi-national corporation, with whom a group of employees attended Team Building exercises at the historic Deering Estate at Cutler on Wednesday, December 18, 2013. Here is a quote from Thomas F. Walby, Ph.D., Director of Flight Training, who wrote the letter–

"We believe that you've got a super program and great facilitators, whom I'd like to recognize as excellent in their work as follows: Jessica Fiallo, Elias Horna, Brittany Jones, Beatriz Guimaraes. A ‘special thank’ you to Jessica who led the process.

I’ve been working in the aviation industry for over 50 years, and have delivered many, so called, ‘team building’ exercises to military, airline and now manufacturer's groups. This was the best! Your staff is exceptional. We'll be back next year."

Zoo Miami had already closed for the day and the park was clear. While completing rounds, Zoo Security Officer, Matthew Carcano, noticed a distressed guest in the parking lot. Mr. Carcano approached him and the guest stated that he lost his wallet. Usual protocol in this situation (once the park is closed) is to gather the guest's contact information and advise that we will notify them if the lost item is found. However, since the guest was so obviously distraught, Mr. Carcano took the initiative to drive the guest around the zoo in order to retrace his steps. Thankfully, they eventually found the wallet and we had a very happy guest!

Recently, a guest locked their keys in their vehicle prior to entering Zoo Miami. Mr. Carcano assisted in opening the vehicle for the guest. This took an extraordinary amount of time due to the need to locate the necessary tools. Therefore, by the time Mr. Carcano was able to open the vehicle, the admission gates had closed. Mr. Carcano then transported the guests to the front admission gates and made a special request to allow them admission to the park because they were delayed in the parking lot. Our Admissions employee kindly granted Mr. Carcano's request.

While driving though the park, Zoo Security Officer, Melissa Llerena encountered a guest with a damaged rental ECV (Electronic Convenience Vehicle). There were no additional ECVs available so Ms. Llerena transported the guest to get a refund for the damaged one. At that point, Ms. Llerena retrieved the guest's personal wheelchair and then transported the guest back to join the family in the zoo. All the while handling other guest issues and fielding calls from the dispatcher.

I wish it was as simple as picking one instance where one person from our staff has done something to create a special experience; but it is not. At Crandon Golf Course and Miami Dade Golf Courses alike we pride ourselves on our service values, one of which being "creating special experiences."

A young woman called a few days ago but lives in New York City. She mentioned that her parents met and were married here at Crandon Golf Course roughly 20 years ago. She was working on Valentine gifts and wanted to purchase a shirt from our facility, however, she realized that we do not have an online store on our website. What was done next was going above and beyond. Ms. Reynolds was asked what size she was looking for, she said Large. She was told, "not to worry, what I will do is pull all the large shirts that we have in inventory, take pictures, create an order form, and send you an email with pictures of all the large shirts we have in stock.” Ms. Reynolds was ecstatic about the effort that we were going to go through in order to make her Valentine's Day ideas come to fruition.

A similar instance happened when a gentleman wanted something as simple as a scorecard from our golf course. He played our course a few months ago but wanted to know if we would send him a scorecard to be a part of a collage he is creating. When asked what it would cost him the man was told, "Nothing, we appreciate you coming and enjoying what Crandon has to offer."

Four gentlemen came to the facility, visiting from California, however the day they came to play it was raining. What our pro shop staff did next was contact several golf courses in the area to see if we could get these gentlemen on a course somewhere in South Florida. We called five different courses but as you may guess all of them were closed because of the rain. We ended up calling a course in Broward which surprisingly was open. I spoke to the pro shop attendant and told him the players would need rentals and he had no problem getting them on the grass with rentals. The four guests were so pleased they returned to Crandon the next DRY day to play our golf course, very appreciative for what we did for them the previous day."





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