Recently I was held up at the airport for eight hours by an airline mishap. Eight hours is a long time out of my life due to someone else’s error. None of the Representatives of the Airline handled the situation correctly. They started with the problem and then why it occurred from their perspective. Never once did they say, I’m sorry or we understand this is messing up the rest of your trip and we apologize. They just kept telling me the reasons why it happened from their perspective, never giving me eye contact or having empathy to my situation. I thought, wait I am the customer and the one who is being inconvenienced here, I could care less about their problems, I paid full fare for my ticket and expect better service than this. Because the representative handled the situation so poorly it upset me to no end, even when they offered my fare back. The money didn’t replace my valuable time and a simple apology and some respect from them would have made all the difference. I swore to never use them again.
So here is what they said …“We are overbooking our planes because of the recession and we are trying to stay profitable…We can’t get you on another plane for about eight hours. (With no eye contact) When I asked if they had a lounge they put people in that they have inconvenienced, they laughed and said, “I wish!”
What they should have said was…”We are so very sorry for this mishap, we know your time is valuable and it is a huge inconvenience for you, we apologize but we will do everything in our power to make it up to you. Our airline is trying a new policy to fill our flights and due to this new policy some of our clients got bumped. We will refund your money and make sure you are on the next flight. In the meantime, would you like to rest in our lounge and have lunch on us?”
Don’t make this mistake, it’s a big one. You will resolve customer anger so much quicker if you practice empathy first, then attempt to resolve the problem with respect and kindness and don’t forget to look them straight in the eye as if you are truly concerned about their welfare.
Now this airline takes their customer service very seriously. I am positive that the Managers and stockholders would never want their Representatives handling customers in the manner I was taken care of. It’s just these kinds of things that ruin good brands.
Five Recession Realizations