Welcome to 2016! Following a little downtime with family over the Christmas and New Year’s break, I didn’t originally plan to release an episode this week, but alas….I was completely inspired by the blatant lack of great customer service from a major airline during my travels.
Let me be clear.
I have had some WONDERFUL customer service experiences from a number of travel and related service industries. Everything from the unexpected free rental car in Little Rock from National Car Rental (I’m just glad they didn’t call the police because the SUV I was driving was technically “missing”) to the presidential suite upgrade at the Marriott in south Texas (the only perk of checking in after midnight followed by an early departure later that morning) to the exceptional on-board service from Judy McClure (of then Continental Express airline).
Here is the FOLLOW UP…three years later (Yep….Judy did it AGAIN!)
This holiday, however, even in the midst of multiple social media posts (one including my preschool daughter asleep on the floor next to her tablet…exhausted from the delay – and THAT was JUST TO DROP OUR BAGS BEFORE SECURITY!) despite the remarkably executed actions of a few (and I stress FEW) employees, United Airlines simply flat-lined on customer service overall making it easy to bid farewell to 2015.
You are not responsible for HOW your customers wind up at your doorstep or WHAT HAPPENED to them before you arrived, but YOUR RESPONSE WILL DETERMINE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. There is only one word you need to master: EMPATHY.
[This podcast includes a live recording FROM THE AIRPORT with all the details of a horrible experience….at this posting I am STILL WAITING for United Airlines to take me up on the offer to meet with them at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport. [I made the offer to United via the “what else do you want us to know about your experience on December 28th, 2015” question of their annoying post-flight survey – I even provided my cell phone number, email address and offered to drive 22 miles to the airport to meet with them to explain….Hey, at this point, I’ll even offer them ONE FREE TRAINING SESSION if they’d invite me to meet with a group of their supervisors and/or airport reps.]
Have a travel nightmare (or awesome customer service save) story of your own? Share it below in the comment section!