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Making a Difference in a Competitive World

I met the most customer driven security guard of my entire life in Jeddah Saudi Arabia in October. His name is Talal AlHarbi. I was meeting top executives of Saudi Airlines and Talal was at their corporate headquarters.

In Saudi Arabia I kept hearing how Saudis were not always the best employees. I assumed they were correct in their thoughts until I met Tolal. He is in his 50’s but looks like 30. Talal was, in my opinion, totally awesome.

As three of us entered corporate headquarters, Talal ran toward us to grab my case which was on wheels with a warm, friendly smile. He took us to the elevator, and guided us to our meeting. I told the Saudi Airlines executives he was the most effective and best security guard I had EVER seen in my life.

Shortly after, they brought him back up for a picture with Bander Mohd Al Qahtani, EVP Shared Services. I understand that this is the way he is with everyone and knows everyone in the corporate headquarters. I was given permission to use Talal in a video for the airlines.

When we went down to the lobby to leave, he ran up to us and grabbed our bags. He got a bigger bag to put some of our products in, gave us a wash towel, took us out to our car, and opened the security gate and…this is only a portion of the customer service that Talal provided.

My observation: In developing countries everyone has a ton of security guards. They all look like they have retired. About 95% are worthless. None of them know they are in customer service. If every security guard was like Talal you would need fewer security guards and you would have less security problems. The most important person in every organization is NOT the CEO it is the front line employee. Ninety nine percent of customer contact is with these people. Oh, if all of them were like Talal!!

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