I’m sure most of you have seen the recent events at United airlines and how they responded to a need for passengers to give up their seats for a United crew to get to the destination for a flight.
And we all have watched in near disbelief at the way the passenger who refused to get off the plan was assaulted, and dragged off the plane in a most humiliating way. While I personally believe in following the orders of Police in nearly all instances, I don’t believe this individual was treated as a respected, and appreciated PAYING CUSTOMER!!
This incident really has shown a very negative spotlight on the poor state of current customer service in the United States. There are a few exceptions in my opinion that still provide an amazing experience and will gladly spend my dollars with them (Chick-Fil-A for example does a great job in customer service). But alas, I am forced daily to shake my head at the lack of or poor quality of customer service in just about every business sector in America. The majority of US air carriers have been abusing the public for years, and we as a buying public become accustomed to it and therefore just expect to be treated poorly.
My first flight on a commercial carrier was ironically enough United airlines Boeing 727 from LAX to PDX when I was 8 years old. I still have the wings the Flight Stewardess (does this tell you how long ago this flight was?) gave me after she served me breakfast…. Oh, yeah Breakfast; and I remember what we had even though this was 50 years ago this year. I remember because it left an impression on me as to what good customer service looks like. I had 2 rolled pancakes stuffed with sausage links and covered by blueberries, some yogurt and fruit with Milk. On a tray like a school cafeteria. Yep, 50 years later I still remember this and in fact, I even tried to tip her a dime (it was all I had in my pocket) and she was very gracious and refused but it was a GREAT customer service experience and a memorable one.
Now you may not remember all of your customer service experiences, but I would be willing to bet you remember the Bad ones and the Really Good ones. We as a buying group should be demanding that we get better service for our dollars spent. United has had a bad public relations image for years and they just don’t care…until now…the world has seen the ugly side of customer service and currently in the dictionary under poor customer service it says “See United Airlines”. Their stock has suffered tremendously as it should and Carriers like Southwest that provide above average customer service have benefitted from this debacle.
You have a choice in almost every business transaction you make. If you fly you can choose a carrier based upon price as well as Superior Customer service. If we speak with our wallets, we will be heard. Are you telling businesses that you expect better customer service or that you will accept poor service for a better price? And by the way Are you listening to YOUR customers in the same way??