Without exaggerating it brought tears to my eyes when I initially saw the video of the elderly men being dragged through the airplane, while bleeding from his mouth and screaming. The violence in the scene is extremely saddening!
How can a PAYING CUSTOMER be treated in this manner? What was his offence? Having bought a ticket from United Airlines, all he wanted to do was to take the flight he booked and payed for, right?!
Also, after reading up on the story and finding out that he is a doctor who explained that he needs to see patients the next day, therefore cannot be late for work and refused to VOLUNTEER to leave the OVERBOOKED plane, I was even more shocked about the entire incident.
So what Customer Service lessons can be learned from the #UnitedAirlinesAssault ?
- OVERBOOKING a plane is BAD FOR BUSINESS, as it will (always) leave somebody behind – a paying customer who will think twice of choosing the company again!
- ASKING FOR VOLUNTEERS to leave the plane is ALSO BAD FOR BUSINESS, as customers expect the service to be completed not to be asked to stay back!
- VIOLENTLY FORCING A PAYING CUSTOMER OF A PLANE, to allow personnel to take the freed-up seats is REALLY, REALLY BAD FOR BUSINESS, as the world is watching and reacting to it (e.g. #Shitstorm #UnitedAirlinesMottos)!!!
- LACK OF EMPATHY FOR A VIOLENT INCIDENT, is BAD FOR BUSINESS TOO! Even if a laaaaaaaate apology follows the initial ‘not our fault’ statement!
Dear United Airlines,
Would it have been possible to book seats for personnel initially, to avoid this situation in the first place?
Would it have been possible to book a ticket for the VOLUNTEERS or personnel on another airline, so that the passengers / personnel would arrive at their destination still on time?
Would it have been possible to NOT VIOLENTLY FORCE A PAYING CUSTOMER of the plane?
4 Customer Service quotes that may INSPIRE YOU #UnitedAirlines
“The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them — preferably in unexpected and helpful ways.” – Richard Branson
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos
“Make the customer the hero of your story.” – Ann Handley
“Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They DO expect you to fix things when they go wrong.” – Donald Porter
What did You think of the incident? Leave me your comments below.
All the Best,
P.S.: Treat ALL your Customers & Clients with RESPECT!