Providing your business product to those customers is what is known as service. How they are treated in that process is called the customer experience, and in today’s world, it has to be authentic as it meets and exceeds the needs of customers.
I’ve seen some crazy things in my life, but this week’s United Airlines ability to drag a customer off the plane is the craziest.
Worse yet was the response that justified the action. All I can say is, “Wrong, wrong, wrong!!!”
Never, ever, justify stupid, mean or belittling behavior. Never, ever, blame the victim. And never, ever, treat a customer as if they are something besides a human and drag them off your property. (Quite honestly, we wouldn't allow that treatment to something not human, so it really doesn't matter....don't treat ANYTHING that way!)
Customers—those reasons your business exist—deserve great service, far better than what the United passenger received.
In fact, let’s just say that stupid, mean, insulting, belittling actions are not service. They’re inexcusable actions that show you have forgotten the reason your business exists.
I worked with United Airlines staff in America, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan when I worked at South Dakota Department of Tourism. In the midst of great growth, United was focused on service and it showed. Here and abroad United managers were class acts.
I have flown United many times, and while I have been known to say, “Welcome to lines by United!” at Denver International Airport and a few other locations, for the most part, the people I have had serve me have been wonderful. The employees of United Airlines deserve top leaders today who get it right, not by defending “established procedures,” but with a heart that says customers really do matter.