Business Building Principle 101: Take Very Good Care of the Customers You Have While Marketing For New Ones
I am a frequent traveler and have earned status with United Air. I also have a significant number of points with Continental Air. I have been looking forward to combining all of that into one account. Beyond that I simply want the continual ease of booking reservations and online check in. I particularly enjoy having my boarding pass available on my iPhone when it is not convenient for me to print one out.
Overall United treats me well and they take the opportunity to let passengers know on each flight their advancements and plans for new equipment and technology. With all that marketing promotion I am surprised at how poorly the systems conversion this past weekend was handled. Specifically,
There was not advance communication of this conversion along with contingency plans in the event of any snags.
There is no information that I have found on the combining of frequent flyer accounts.
Saturday when I was trying to simply confirm my Sunday morning flight and retrieve my boarding pass I could not. I read a message to get to the gate early which is not very comforting. I also noticed a number to call for help. I did call and it took 40 minutes for the call to be answered. While on hold I heard more than 20 times a prerecorded message that United was investing 500 million in new equipment. I wanted to scream ..invest a few bucks in people staffing the phones so customers can be helped. Once connected it took another 10 minutes for the issue to be resolved…which thankfully it was. Normally it takes me about 2-5 minutes to log in, check in and confirm my boarding pass so 50 minutes was not fun.
Now that I am able to see my account under the new system I noticed today the payment information and some of my profile information is gone. I have to re-enter it. I noticed there is no evidence of my frequent flyer accounts being merged. There is not communication on these items. In fact there was nothing more than a press release this morning saying this merger was largely successful.
United Airlines Should Fire The Executive Responsible For Customer Relations!
Other business owners use this example of what not to do and more specifically when you have major changes planned over communicate with your customers and set up contingency systems should things not go according to plan. This is fundamental…United Airlines did not ask me in advance. I am telling you now!!
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|Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies. Today Steve is an expert international business and real estate investment coach focused on helping companies improve their business performance including growing profits, revenues and customers. For a FREE 6 week mini course where you will receive 10 easy to implement action steps guaranteed to increase business revenue and profits by at least 30% in the next 90 days, please visit www.StevePohlit.com All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.|