Airlines business Case Study
A June 2013 report by the American Customer Satisfaction Index found that for the 70, 000 Americans it surveyed, the only industries ranking below the airlines for customer service are subscription TV and Internet service providers. Yet an individual employee in any industry can take personal responsibility to make a lasting favorable impression on a customer.
Allow me to share with you two days in my life as a professional speaker (and traveler).
How do you lose a piece of carry-on luggage?
Delta did that to me today.
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It was gate checked on the commuter flight from Atlanta to Birmingham, then didn’t show up on the ramp when I arrived.
Those of us from the flight missing luggage asked at the American baggage claim office in Birmingham if there was a representative for Delta. (The little area for Delta’s baggage claim office was dark and the door was locked.) The rep for American just became defensive and hostile as he responded while walking away.
Finally the Delta baggage service representative showed up. Now as Jerry Seinfeld says, “Nobody announces ‘I want to work in Baggage Service when I grow up.’” But this employee may have been the exception.
Allan Day has worked for Delta for 27 years, in various positions. He began his day today by first listening empathetically to our plights and quickly communicating that he was on our side. Allan then exhibited a sense of urgency to resolve the problem. Compared to the reception we received from the American rep, we couldn’t help but feel better knowing that Allan was doing all that he could to locate our lost luggage.
In addition to giving me free frequent flyer points, Allan gave me food vouchers to use while I waited for my found piece to come in on the next flight – even another voucher to use tomorrow night.
“Judging from my experience, what probably happened was that your luggage went back to Atlanta. I sincerely apologize, but that is the most likely case. I’ll post a bulletin in my system so that the employees there will be on the lookout for it, retrieve it and send it back.”