Recently, I’ve had to fly for work and pleasure. The old gray mare just ain’t what she used to be. I remember looking forward to getting on a plane, being treated special and being served crabmeat stuffed tomatoes with chocolate covered strawberries. Some folks even dressed up to travel. Today, it’s very different. After seeing the man being drug off the United flight last week, it made me think about what has happened to the airline industry.

My son and his family recently flew on a different airline and when they arrived at the airport they realized that another airline separated the entire family, including my 4 year old granddaughter, she was to be seated by herself. Can you imagine? They were tired from an exhausting vacation and, to top it off, many other families had their seats moved. It was a hot mess. They finally put my granddaughter with her mom and the boys had to sit separately. The 10 year old was getting told over and over again by adults that he was in their seat. Tears began to flow, he was scared and treated rudely. The end of the story is my son was offered $1500 a seat to get off the plane. They turned it down after all the turmoil and just wanted to get home.

Then, last week I see what seemed to be a sincere apology from the United Airlines CEO and a commitment to changing airline policy. He said, “I take full responsibility for what happened.” When he was in front of Congressional leadership they said to him, “If you don’t change your CUSTOMER SERVICE, we will change it for you with legislation.” I researched further and it seems the real problem is that because of all the airline mergers their isn’t much competition with the major airlines. So now, Congress is going to mandate customer service, will that work?

UNITED WE STAND with Customer Service 5 Things you Need to Know

Your employees are your first customer – treat them like Gold!
Spend dollars on training, make a commitment to annual training!
Create a customer service incentives program.
Follow-up with evaluations every 3-6 months.
Spend more time with the top 20% of your staff, get them well trained and give them the responsibility of leadership. Their performance will enhance the environment.

United is about to embark on big changes. It’s almost a shame that dragging a human being off a plane got them to a place where everyone in the country knew what had happened and now everyone in the country is waiting to see if the CEO meant what he said. Mr. CEO, you can create a Company Culture that is unprecedented with a new brand, new voice, new vibe and new culture. Hopefully, the public will stand UNITED!
Carol is a Motivational Speaker, Executive Coach, Fundraising Strategist, Social Media Quarterback and Small Business Advisor. She is Lehigh Valley’s sought after consultant who assists organizations with results driven growth. Her strategies can be easily adapted to a for profit or non-profit environment. Carol specializes in high impact leadership, million dollar fundraising, smash the box marketing, and creating word of mouth epidemics for her clients. Visit Carol’s website at www.caroltalks.com and “LIKE” Carol at Caroltalks on Facebook. Carol S. Ritter, Past President, National Speakers Association Philadelphia and past board chair for St. Luke’s University Hospital Visiting Nurses Association & Hospice.

Leave a Reply