United Airlines Crisis Management

United Airlines gets an ‘A+’ for crises management via social media – By now you’ve heard about United Airlines computer debacle that grounded their flights on Wednesday July 8th, impacting nearly 5,000 flights, and inconveniencing thousands of travelers. Talk about travel rage! That is about as bad as it gets. However, Social Media expert, Dan Gingiss wrote about how incredibly well United handled this crisis. In his blog, United Airlines Great Customer Service in the Midst of A Crisis, Gingiss details how well United communicated via social media during and after their grounded flights. They were honest and upfront, shutting down all outgoing marketing through social media. The last thing frustrated Customers want to see are marketing and promotional pitches. Gingiss points out, “What was most impressive was the 42-second apology video the airline posted on both Facebook and Twitter from Sandra Pineau-Boddison, United’s senior vice president for Customers, who demonstrated empathy, transparency, and helpfulness. She humbly apologized – not once but twice – and offered solutions to passengers who still needed to get to their final destination. This is the epitome of great Customer service.” This is an excellent case study for how companies need to handle a Customer service crisis versus sticking their head in the sand.

Chick-fil-A set satisfaction score record – With the release of the American Customer Satisfaction Index ratings [PDF] for fast food restaurants, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that Chick-fil-A is #1 with a rating of 86, the highest ever scored by a company in this segment.

McDonald’s continues to sink – It may not surprise you that McDonald’s was last with a score of 67, nearly 20 points lower than Chick-fil-A. This has been an ugly trend for McDonald’s. They have been last for the sixth year in a row, and the 19th time in 20 surveys. McDonald’s just announced they are closing nearly 700 stores.

Airport makes it super easy and private for Customers to give feedback – Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is Taiwan’s largest airport, and they care about Customer satisfaction. Located throughout the airport’s restrooms are touch-screen monitors that allow passengers to give quick feedback within seconds by a push of the button. I love this idea. What if restaurants did this? I guarantee their response rates would triple and employees can’t game it.

*Related – Are you getting enough complaints?

How Cleveland became the Customer Service Capital of the World – There is a lot to love about Cleveland (besides having LeBron James). Our summer and fall seasons are incredible, Cleveland is known for having the leading healthcare facilities in the world, our theatre district is tops, plus the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. And Cleveland is known for our people. In the heart of the Midwest, Cleveland has the best people. They’re grounded, loyal, and have amazing family values. However, that isn’t all Cleveland is known for.

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About The Author

John DiJulius

John R. DiJulius is a best-selling author, consultant, keynote speaker and President of The DiJulius Group, the leading Customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on Customer experience trends and best practices.

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