Thursday, May 4, 2017

"Hello, how may I not help you today?"

I had no idea I was so pissed off about this until I was typing back and forth with my co-blogger just now.

So, a few weeks ago, United Airlines beats the shit out of a paying customer and throws him off their airplane.  Which I guess they can do.  I don't know.  The backlash was, well, you may have heard about it.

Then a couple of days later some American Airlines flight attendant allegedly gets into it with a passenger over a stroller and almost gets in a fight with a passenger who intervened.

So I read tonight that Delta, apparently keen to get in the mix, this week kicked a family off a flight because of some mix-up with using car seats for 2-year olds and what seems to be overbooking.

Story here.

Now, I actually watched the video for this one because the comments pointed out how calm the guy was, so I didn't feel like I was just watching for the car crash.  And here's the thing:  I don't know anything about airline rules, or FAA rules, and I'm not going to even speculate on who was right or wrong or why on this one because really, I have no clue and I wasn't there.  But what I do know about, see, is customer service.  I know a lot about it.  I've done more of it than I really care to admit, sometimes.  And so I'm watching and I'm pretty "hmm, that's interesting", until the part where the guy essentially says "OK, so this is happening.  What are you going to do to help us now?" and the customer representative, the key individual at the tip of the spear effectively replies "Nothing.  Once you're off the plane, you're on your own."



After the month the airlines have had, and KNOWING you're being recorded on peoples' phones, the ONLY correct answer at the speartip is some version of "We will bend over backwards to help you as best as we can within our rules and regulations."

Nothing short of that is even remotely acceptable.  Accept no blame.  Admit no responsibility.  Focus on the aftermath.  Demonstrate competence and compassion.  Leave the customer thinking "well, the event sucked, but I have to admit, the way they handled it afterward showed they at least cared."

If I were the king of Delta Airlines right now, that speartip person would be fired.  Every member of that crew would be fired. Their supervisors would be fired.  Anyone involved in the decision chain for that incident - fired.  Every department head I didn't fire would be running around my office building the next day yelling "WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!" at the top of their lungs until they collapsed in pools of their own spew.

I'm not exactly in love with Japanese culture, and I don't know who's running (JAL) Japan Airlines these days, but if something like this happened to them I bet a pizza that the CEO would be on national TV the next day in a white kimono, opening his own belly.


Post a Comment