It’s hard to watch the news or get on social media over the last couple of weeks without seeing the headlines about a passenger being dragged off a United Airlines flight. United Airlines can’t seem to catch a break. A passenger being stung by a scorpion and staff escorting two passengers off the plane are just a couple of their other recent stories.
Contrast that with how Etihad Airways conducted itself two weeks ago when an elderly couple already onboard the plane saw a message from their family that their grandson was very ill and in intensive care. The pilots turned the plane around, allowed the couple off, and arranged for their luggage and car so the couple could be on their way as soon as possible.
Etihad Airways is receiving huge accolades for their customer service. Meanwhile United Airlines is getting beat down by the press.
United Airlines’ short sightedness has cost them over $700MM in market capitalization.1 That may seem like a small number for a company that has a market cap of approximately $21 billion, but would you want to be known as a company that treats its customers poorly?
Many companies (including ours) strive for great customer service. In our case, it is one of our tenants. I have heard many friends, colleagues, and partners say that they will never fly United again. Just by saying this, it causes others to give pause as to whether they should fly United. This is not meant to be a criticism of the airline industry, but a demonstration in customer service. It was very short sighted of security to treat paying customers in such a manner
What are you doing to provide your customers with exceptional service? Do you – like Zappos, The Ritz Hotels, and J2 – provide above and beyond customer service or are you more like United Airlines?
“Customer service is the new marketing.” —Derek Sivers
Have a great weekend.
1Wile, Rob. Here’s How Much United Airlines Stock Tanked This Week. http://time.com/money/4739880/united-airlines-fiasco-overbooked-passenger-dragged-stock-price-value/. (accessed April 21, 2017).
About Friday Food for Thought (FFfT)
I frequently attend conferences and retreats on entrepreneurship and leadership and while I am away, the J2 team picks up the slack, allowing me to learn to be better at what I do. I wanted to share what I was learning with my team, so I created the weekly FFfT emails in November of 2015 and have been writing them ever since.
Before long, the J2 staff began sharing the FFfT emails with their friends and family and now other leaders have asked to be included, which led to the creation of this newsletter. I hope you enjoy!