Who hasn’t seen the video of a passenger being brutally dragged off an over-booked United Airlines flight on April 9th? The incident became a public relations disaster, and has adversely affected both United’s stock price and revenue and cost the CEO a promotion to chairman. In contrast, American Airlines had a similar customer service snafu last weekend regarding a mother of twin toddlers who tried to bring a stroller onto the airplane. The company moved swiftly to right the situation and avoid any negative consequences.
The contrasting tales show how culture affects the bottom line.
The fact is, there will be customer service snafus, even in the best companies. Human beings work in companies, and human beings are imperfect and make mistakes from time to time. The proof of an organization’s culture is in the way it recovers from the service failure. In the customer service business, it’s called “service recovery.” How you recover from a service failure reflects the values and culture of the business.
Kristin Robertson, CEO of Brio Leadership, is dedicated to increasing the number of employees who are excited to go to work on Monday mornings. Services include executive coaching, leadership development classes and company culture consulting. Don’t forget to get a copy of Kristin Robertson’s new book, Your Company Culture Ecosystem, available on Amazon.
5/1/2017 09:48:56 am
Maybe it's a fine point but I wonder whether the culture at American is better than the culture at United. Could it be that the response team at American had the advantage of learning from the United incident? As you noted the flight attendant appears to be having a bad day, or more likely, is a jerk. That doesn't reflect a superior culture at American.
5/1/2017 03:28:43 pm
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