MIT Sloan Lecturer Lou Shipley
It’s been an extremely rough 30 days for three of the US airline industry’s largest carriers – United, American and Delta – whose rude and brutish treatment of customers was captured in smart phone videos that not surprisingly went viral.
In United’s case, the damage control was anything but as CEO Oscar Munoz immediately delivered a tone deaf, blame-the-victim response. His belated apology for United’s execrable behavior was of little help.
Friendly skies? Not so much.
The three high-profile airline debacles are stark examples of ham-fisted customer disregard and have given rise to the question: In an increasingly automated and technology-driven world, is being taken for granted the new customer-service norm?
Emphatically, no. In fact, there’s ample evidence that it’s quite the opposite.
Savvy companies – global industry brands around the world – are investing in, listening to, and learning from customers because they realize that a relentless focus on their customers drives success and growth.
There are many excellent examples of companies that are putting a premium on delivering a consistently great customer experience to increase both revenue and customer loyalty.
Good examples of businesses that are both highly successful and customer-experience focused include Amazon, Netflix, UPS, Trader Joe’s, and the giant insurance provider USAA.
These thriving enterprises are in highly competitive markets and all of them are using customer service as a differentiator.