Tag: United Airlines

Message to United Airlines CEO Oscar Muñoz

As if flying isn’t enough of a hassle, United Airlines has made every passenger in every flight around the world a little more uncomfortable in their seats until the plane is in the air.

Unless you’ve been hibernating from all media feeds, you’ve likely seen the video of a passenger being forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight. It’s almost frightening to watch, as the passenger is being yanked out of his chair. Here’s a very simplified recap of what happened:

  • United needed to make room on a full plane for some of its employees.
  • Not enough of the passengers agreed to take United’s offers to give up their seats to accommodate the United employees.
  • United “randomly” (they applied a set of internal rules, I think) selected a passenger to remove from the flight.
  • The selected passenger, who had paid for his flight and was sitting on the plane, did not want to give up his seat.
  • Security agents yanked the passenger out of his seat and violently dragged him out of the plane.
  • United CEO Oscar Muñoz issues statement describing the incident as “re-accommodating” passengers and seeming to provide some justification for the incident.

My take: There’s no excuse for this. None. There’s no grey zone, no “maybe’s,” no alternative interpretations. Even if United had the “legal right” to force this passenger from the plane, it was still wrong. If you can’t entice a passenger to get off the plane to make room for one of your employees, then you need to add more to your offer, or you “re-accommodate” your employees.

If customers can’t trust a company to deliver the products or services that they purchase, then the company’s brand has no value. This is the minimum requirement for any brand.

Here’s some of my advice for Mr. Muñoz:

  • Adjust the way you react to situations so that your first reaction to any situation is to show empathy and compassion for your customers.
  • Make a commitment to customers, and make it clear to everyone in your organization, that paid passengers who don’t want to give up their seats will never be forced to give up their seats.
  • Make it clear to customers, employees, investors, analysts, and anyone who cares to listen that this is unacceptable behavior and that you are taking personal accountability for this issue. Learn how to master our C.A.R.E.S. model for service recovery.
  • Acknowledge that you have a systemic problem… with your customers and employees. Would this ever happen at Southwest Airlines? United Airlines ranked 224th out of 331 companies in the 2017 Temkin Experience Ratings and its rating is likely dropping by the minute.
  • Fix your problems… United needs to make improvements across what we call the Four CX Core Competencies: Purposeful Leadership, Compelling Brand Values, Employee Engagement, and Customer Connectedness.

The bottom line: United and Mr.Muñoz need to take decisive action.

 

Southwest Airlines Earns Top Customer Experience Ratings for Airlines

Temkin Experience RatingsWe recently released the 2017 Temkin Experience Ratings that ranks the customer experience of 331 companies across 20 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

Southwest Airlines delivers the best customer experience in the airline industry, according to the 2017 Temkin Experience Ratings, an annual customer experience ranking of companies based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

Southwest Airlines took the top spot out of the 10 airlines included in this year’s ratings, earning a score of 73% and coming in 90th place overall out of 331 companies across 20 industries. Southwest has earned the highest score every year since the Ratings began in 2011, with the exception of 2015 with JetBlue came in first.

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Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and JetBlue Earn Top Customer Experience Ratings for Airlines

Temkin Experience Ratings

We recently released the 2016 Temkin Experience Ratings that ranks the customer experience of 294 companies across 20 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and JetBlue Airlines deliver the best customer experience in the airline industry, according to the 2016 Temkin Experience Ratings, an annual customer experience ranking of companies based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

Southwest Airlines took the top spot out of nine airlines in this year’s ratings, earning a score of 75% and coming in 52nd place overall out of 294 companies across 20 industries. Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airlines tied for second place, each with a rating of 62% and an overall rank of 135th.

Southwest has earned the highest score every year since the Ratings began in 2011, with the exception of 2015 when JetBlue shot up 15 percentage points to take first. This year, however, JetBlue’s score decreased the most of any of the nine airlines evaluated, dropping 13 percentage points from 2015.

At the other end of the spectrum, Spirit Airlines received the lowest score in the industry with a rating of 40%, which put it in 284th place overall. US Airways was the only other airline to get a “very poor” rating (below 50%).

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JetBlue and Southwest Lead Airlines in Customer Experience

We recently released the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings that ranks the customer experience of 293 companies across 20 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

Overall, the airline industry averaged a 63% rating in the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings and tied for 12th place out of 20 industries. It was also one of only five industries to improve its rating over the past year, increasing its average by 1.2 percentage-points.

JetBlue took the top spot with a rating of 75%, placing it 52nd overall out of 293 companies across 20 industries. Southwest Airlines came in second with a rating of 72%, placing it 89th overall. JetBlue shot up from the middle of the pack in 2014 to the top spot in 2015, improving by an astounding 15 percentage-points over the past year.

At the other end of the spectrum, Spirit Airlines, which made its debut on the ratings this year, was the lowest-scoring company in the industry. It received a rating of 47%, which put it in 281st place overall.

Here are some additional findings from the airline industry:

  • The ratings of all airlines in the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings are as follows: JetBlue Airlines (75%), Southwest Airlines (72%), Delta Airlines (69%), Alaska Airlines (69%), Virgin America (63%), American Airlines (57%), United Airlines (56%), US Airways (55%), AirTran Airways (52%), and Spirit Airlines (47%).
  • JetBlue Airlines (+15 points), Delta Airlines (+6 points), and Alaska Airlines (+4 points) improved the most between 2014 and 2015.
  • American Airlines (-5 points), United Airlines (-5 points), and AirTran Airways (-4 points) were the only companies in this industry whose ratings declined between 2014 and 215.

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Southwest Airlines Leads Airline Industry in 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings

We recently released the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings that ranks the customer experience of 268 companies across 19 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

Southwest Airlines took the top spot for the fourth year in a row, earning a rating of 71% and placing 83rd out of 268 companies across 19 industries. At the other end of the spectrum, US Airways received the lowest ratings of any airline for the third straight year, landing in 251st place overall with a 52% rating.

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Here are some additional findings from the airline industry: (more…)

Report: What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2014

1402_WhatHappensAfterGoodBadExperiences_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2014. The report, which includes 19 data charts, examines which companies and industries provide the most bad experiences, what impact those experiences have on spending, and how the negative impacts of bad experiences can be mitigated by good service recovery. The report also examines how consumers share their good and bad experiences with companies as well as with other people. Here’s the executive summary:

To understand the effect of good and bad experiences, we asked 10,000 U.S. consumers about their recent interactions with 268 companies across 19 industries. Results show that Internet services and TV services are the industries most likely to deliver a bad experience to their customers, while grocery chains are the least likely to. At the company level, Scottrade had the smallest percentage of customers reporting a recent bad experience with the company and Time Warner Cable had the highest. More than half of the customers who encountered a bad experience at a fast food chain, credit card issuer, grocery store, or hotel either decreased their spending with the company or stopped altogether. However, our data shows that a good service recovery effort can help mitigate a bad experience. Unfortunately, many firms—especially in the banking, Internet services, and TV services sectors—aren’t very good at service recovery. In addition to the consequences of bad interactions, we also examined which channels customers use to share their good and bad experiences and how these changed across age groups. We then compared these results to survey responses from the past two years. We also uncovered a negative bias inherent in how customers provide feedback. ING Direct, Residence Inn, and Fairfield Inn have the most negative bias in the feedback they receive directly from customers, while Hy-Vee and Hyundai have the most negative bias on Facebook. 

Click link to see full list of industries and companies covered in this report (.pdf).

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One of the most interesting analyses in the report is the look at how service recovery after a bad experience affects the spending pattern of consumers. Here’s a summary of one of the charts showing just how important it is for a company to recover well after making a mistake:

1402_EconomicsOfServiceRecovery

Here are some other insights from the research:

  • Sixteen percent of consumers who have interacted with TV service and Internet service providers report having a bad experience over the previous six months. Next on the list are wireless carriers, with 12% of their customers reporting a bad experience. At the other end of the spectrum, only 3% of consumers report a bad experience with grocery chains and 4% report having a bad experience with fast food chains.
  • The five companies with the most customers reporting bad experiences are Time Warner Cable (25%), Motel 6 (22%), Coventry Health Care (21%), and Comcast (21%). There were 10 companies with only 1% or less of their customers reporting bad experiences: Scottrade, Chick-fil-A, H.E.B., Whole Foods, ShopRite, ING Direct, Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, Vanguard, and True Value.
  • More than one-quarter of consumers who have a bad experience stop spending with computer makers, car rental agencies, credit card issuers, hotel chains, and software companies. The impact of bad experiences is less costly for parcel delivery services, wireless carriers, health plans, TV service providers, Internet service providers, and grocery chains, as less than 15% of their customers with bad experience stopped spending.
  • The industries that are the best at responding to a bad experience are investment firms, major appliances, retailers, and car rental agencies. The industries that are the worst at responding to a bad experience are TV service providers, wireless carriers, Internet service providers, parcel delivery services, and health plans.
  • Thirty-two percent of consumers give feedback directly to companies after a very bad experience and 23% give feedback after a very good experience.
  • Overall, 25- to 34-year-olds are the most likely to share feedback about their experiences. After a good experience 57% tell a friend directly, 28% share on Facebook, and 18% put a comment or rating on a review site. After a bad experience, 60% tell a friend directly, 31% share on Facebook, and 20% write a review.

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The bottom line: Make sure to recover quickly after a bad experience

United Airlines Can’t Advertise Its Way To Flyer-Friendly

United Airlines recently announced that its new brand campaign will resurrect its iconic tagline “Fly the Friendly Skies.” According to the United Airlines press release, “”Flyer-friendly” is “user-friendly” for today’s customers.” Tom O’Toole, United’s senior vice president of marketing and loyalty, says, “Our new brand campaign expresses the customer focus of all of United’s investments.” As Jane Levere points out in her NY Times article, “United is now telling travelers it is everything from “legroom friendly” and “online friendly” to “shut-eye friendly” and “EWR friendly.”

My take: Let’s start with some basic facts. United Airlines received a “poor” rating in the 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings. Its ratings are in the lower half of the airline industry, and the company showed no improvement over 2012.

In the 2013 Temkin Customer Service Ratings, United Airlines was in next-to-last place out of nine U.S. airlines (US Airways is the worst). United Airlines ranked 216th out of all 235 companies in the ratings.

Does that sound “flyer-friendly?” United Airlines will have a hard time backing up that claim today.

No matter how much companies spend on advertising, they can’t convince customers that they deliver a good experience — unless they really do. In the past, I’ve chided Comcast, JP Morgan ChaseCircuit City, and John Hancock for pushing these empty promises.

The path to being seen as flyer-friendly requires the organization to commit to delivering on that promise. I’ve highlighted a few good examples in previous posts: Alaska Airlines engaged its employees with its North of Expected campaign, Ford engaged its employees with its Drive One campaign, Staples redesigned customer interactions as part of its That Was Easy campaign, and JetBlue embedded its value across touchpoints in its Happy Jetting campaign.

My advice to United Airlines it to follow these CX Tips:

The bottom line: Don’t proclaim your flyer-friendliness, become flyer-friendly and then tell people about it