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Airlines Need to Join the World of Customer Experience

Airline customer service failIn 2017 there was the gigantic United Airlines fail on April 9th.  Then there’s an Air Canada story of a woman being bumped from a flight and missing a $10,000 Galapagos cruise.  And things just haven’t got any better.

Seriously?  Come ON folks.  As an industry, you need to give your heads a gigantic shake.

Dear Airlines Everywhere:

It’s time you dragged yourselves into the world of Customer Experience.  No, I’m not talking about better televisions in the seats, or higher quality peanuts in those little foil bags.  I’m talking about actually giving a damn about passengers.  You’re under a microscope now, and you have one of three directions you can take:

  1. You can just duck down and hope all of the bad press will just go away
  2. You can try to defend your practices, or just spin them in a positive light
  3. You can actually make passenger satisfaction a priority

Guess which one is ultimately the best course of action?

Who Told You These Were Good Ideas?

If you want to continue the archaic and customer-unfriendly practice of overbooking, you need to figure out a way to do it that doesn’t cause pain.  If you want to increase your revenue per seat, you need to figure out a way to do it without seat widths and pitches that are just, well, hateful.

I don’t know who is telling you that these are good ideas but they are profoundly wrong, and you should take them to task for the horrendous advice.   Customer Experience is a thing.  Seriously.  It’s a real thing.  You need to stop playing games with your patchwork business models, and go back to square one with the question, “How can we move people from one place to another in an enjoyable, seamless experience, and make a good profit in the process?”

Outstanding Customer Experience is Doable

It’s doable, I promise you.  But it’s not going to happen until one of you looks in the mirror and says, “Wow, we suck at this.  Let’s fix it.”

These stories – and the ones that make it to the mainstream media are just a minute fraction of them – are absolutely preventable.  You just need to actually care enough to prevent them.  You have an opportunity.  Right now.  Today.  If there were ever a time to send the message that your passengers are important to you, it’s now.  Change the way you do business – I mean really change it – and you can set yourselves up for amazing long-term success.

Or you can just keep things the way they are, doing battle with your customers on a daily basis, and see where that takes you.

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