My staff and I were coming back from a software conference held in Phoenix and we got a great education on how NOT TO handle customer service.
We were already off to a bad start when we couldn’t get a simple direct flight from Phoenix to San Francisco, even though United and Continental recently merged. You’d think they would have so many planes and flights to choose from but no dice.
So, we’re forced to fly from Phoenix to LA on US Airways and then catch a connecting flight with United to SF. So far, so good UNTIL we get to LA and are instructed to leave the airport, grab a shuttle and go to a new terminal for United. There is no shuttle in sight so we hoof it on foot across the street, through a parking garage, back over a street, back through security AGAIN, up an escalator and a very long walk through the airport with at least 4 turns involved.
Even if we were world-class sprinters, we could not have made this connection. We get to the gate and were curtly informed we have missed the flight and she cannot help us and go to the customer service counter. There we are greeted with more sour pusses, NO APOLOGY and additional flack because I wanted to get upgraded and in a very snide voice, the rep says, “Why would you get upgraded?” and I said, “because I’m 1K” and now she sees that’s true but it didn’t get any better and still no apology.
We get a later flight and head over to the Red Carpet Club where we should feel at home and now we’re greeted by the this huge line, no smiles and more waiting while we have to pull out a boarding pass, the club card and an ID so you feel like you’re trying to get access to the Pentagon.
Now my assistant needs to use the bathroom bad since she’s needed to since this debacle started over 1 hour ago and is stopped by the cleaning lady who says she needs to wait for 2 minutes.
I honestly don’t see how airlines expect to stay in business with this crappy service, crappy attitudes, worn-down planes, waiting lines and a just plain miserable experience that takes any fun out of this yet costs you dearly to participate.
If I did business like this, I wouldn’t have a business.
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Catherine Maley, MBA is a business/marketing consultant to plastic surgeons. She speaks at medical conferences all over the world on cash practice building and trains staff to be converting rock stars. | View Author Profile | Get a Free Copy of her popular book, Your Aesthetic Practice: What Your Patients Are Saying