United, Why You Shouldn’t Drag Me Off Your Plane
The video of a passenger with blood on his face being dragged off an airline seems like something out of a apocalyptic Zombie movie. Unfortunately, it was just another day on United Airlines at O’Hare.
Airlines traditionally overbook passengers on flights since there are typically so many no shows or cancellations. On the rare occasion their are too many confirmed passengers, they offer volunteers flight credits up to $1,000 to voluntarily take a different flight. Even more rarely, the airlines bump boarded passengers involuntarily off a flight if there are not enough volunteers. This has happened to me once.
United was faced with the worst of all scenarios this week. Not enough volunteers at the reward they offered and the flight was already boarded. But they walked into a customer service nightmare when they literally dragged a passenger, David Dao off the plane.
Now so we media outlets are making a big deal of Dao drugs for sex past and the suspending of his license. This is irrelevant.
United has to think smarter. They have to understand that everyone has a video camera on them and anything they do will be recorded and posted at anytime.
They need to get passengers off the flight at any cost. Given the PR nightmare, the could have offered this passenger millions to “volunteer” and still come out ahead. I have seen passengers offered $2,000 to take another flight. Heck, offer them $10k and United will see how many people jump off that flight with their luggage in their hand.
The only sustainable competitive advantage for every small business is an outstanding customer service experience. Every decision with a customer is an opportunity to shine. Stop thinking tactical and instead, realize the long term effect that a satisfied or dissatisfied customer can have on your business. They are undoubtedly going to share any intense experience with others online and that is really where your business succeeds or fails.
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Barry Moltz gets business owners unstuck by unlocking their long forgotten potential. With decades of entrepreneurial experience in his own business ventures, he has discovered the formula to get stuck business owners and increasing their sales. Barry has founded and run small businesses with a great deal of success and failure for more than 20 years. After successfully selling his last operating business, Barry founded an angel investor group, an angel fund, and is a former advisory member of the board of the Angel Capital Education Foundation. His first book, “You Need to Be A Little Crazy: The Truth about Starting and Growing Your Business” describes the ups and downs and emotional trials of running a business. His second book, “Bounce! Failure, Resiliency and the Confidence to Achieve Your Next Great Success”, shows what it takes to come back and develop true business confidence. His third book, “BAM! Delivering Customer Service in a Self-Service World” shows how customer service is the new marketing. His fourth book, “Small Town Rules: How Small Business and Big Brands can Profit in a Connected Economy” shows how when every customer can talk to every other customer, it’s like living in a small town: Your reputation is everything! His fifth book, “How to Get Unstuck: 25 Ways to Get Your Business Growing Again” helps every small business owners move their company to the next level. Barry is a nationally recognized speaker on small business who has given hundreds of presentations to audiences ranging in size from 20 to 20,000. As a member of the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, he has appeared on many TV and radio programs such as CNBC’s The Big Idea, and MSNBC’s Your Business. He hosts his own radio show on AM560, and writes for American Express and Forbes.