So, we did a little "how'd your day go?" and during the "what's on tap for tomorrow?" portion, she brings up our guests for the weekend asked for an early check in. I asked her what she said. She replied they could check in after 1PM.
I asked why she picked that time. She looked puzzled. I explained, why not just say "You're welcome to check in whenever you get here." We don't have an elaborate check in procedure. Open the unlocked door, step inside, hopefully "ooh" and "ahh" a bit, put your bags in the rooms, pick up the key from the table and begin your stay.
Since we didn't have guests the evening before and the place was cleaned and ready for guests, we incurred no cost whatsoever in telling them that. More importantly, we extended a courtesy to them that would enhance their enjoyment of their stay and might just lead to a return reservation or, even better, good word of mouth.
Every once in a blue moon, I get something right.
Good shootin' juvat! Don't get cocky
Thinking about that episode about customer satisfaction lead me to the thinking (ok, visceral reaction) behind this post.
"What the firetruck is going on with the airline industry specifically and customer service in general?
United Airlines? Talk about taking a pistol, pointing it at your foot and squeezing the trigger. (No, that analogy isn't correct, "talk about taking a Vulcan 20mm cannon, pointing it at your foot and squeezing off all 940 rounds" That's better.) Good Lord!
They have a full flight (not overbooked and that's while they'll lose the case, guaranteed) and decide they need to kick 4 already seated customers off the plane to make room for some employees that need to be at a different airport.
Evidently, company procedures give priority to the employees over the customers.
You all know the rest of the story. One of the "chosen" gets his face bashed in and dragged off the flight. Video is available to the one person on the planet that still hasn't seen it.
I've read all the quibbling in the commentary about "you can't refuse the orders of the flight crew", "It's in the legal wording of the travel document" blah, blah, frickin' blah.
You can't beat up (or have someone beat up) one of your customers for a mistake you made. Not unless you want that customer to own your airline and not if you expect other people making travel decisions to choose other means of transportation other than your airline.
But, hey, they doubled down on their error by pointing out that the guy traded drugs to get his jollies.
Completely irrelevant (and also not known by United or its employees at the time).
So, that's strikes one and two against United.
Strike three occurs a few days later. A couple gets on the flight from Houston to Costa Rica for their honeymoon. They go to their seat and since this is the continuation of an existing flight, there are already passengers on board.
As they get to their seat, the see someone sleeping stretched out over the entire row. They elect to choose another empty couple of seats on the half filled flight. The flight attendant asks them if they are in their assigned seats. They say no and explain the circumstances, she tells them they must take their assigned seats. They ask for an upgrade and are denied. No place I've read indicate they were argumentative, however a US Marshal gets on board and escorts them off the jet.
Strike three, United.
But, then, their biggest competitor, evidently decides that bad publicity is better than no publicity and gets in the act.
A lady gets on the plane with 2 babies and a stroller. There doesn't appear to be video of the initial portion of the spectacle, but the lady gets hit in the head with the stroller.
Yeah, I got it. The stroller has to be in checked, or gate checked, baggage. The audio of the lady indicates she probably wasn't a native English speaker, so she may not have understood the problem.
Instapundit summed it up perfectly today "I’m not sure what additional facts might come out that would make hitting a woman with a stroller okay."
Other people were criticizing the guy that got up and stood up to the steaming pile of fecal matter dressed in an airline uniform.
Meekly sitting there and not "interfering with the flight crew" is exactly how these wannabe dictators get to act like that. I would hope I stood up also, and, Please Lord, put me on that jury. "Not Guilty!"
Does anyone understand customer service anymore?
Richard Branson said "“I have always believed that the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers, and that people flourish when they are praised.”. I agree.
If true, United, and now evidently American, must really treat their employees unbelievably well /sarc. The Doctor didn't want to get off the airplane, but apparently the other 3 actually deplaned. There's not a spare jumpseat for the employee to ride? I don't think they even tried. They just KNEW they were in the right and this impudent pipsqueak must be taught to obey their "Authority"
The Honeymooners, did they not know that by purchasing the cheap seats, they had given up all rights to be treated as a human being?
"Of course, you may not move to an open seat. That seat must remain empty as it was not ticketed. We will incur extra costs if you move, and ...and....and... you must respect our authority!"
Good Lord, people! "The guy's sleeping in your whole row? It's your honeymoon? Yeah, just take any seat, they're all going to arrive at the same time."
How much would that have cost United? It's not like they tried to move up to First Class.
That little act of human kindness might have bought United a bit of loyalty in the purchasing of their next ticket. As it is, I'm sure the Doctor and the Honeymooners will use the ABFU** method of travel planning in the future.
American's situation, while every bit as heinous and a direct result of existing policies that don't reflect customer satisfaction as a priority, was at least handled better. The employee was suspended (hopefully upside down by his toes) and the family's trip was upgraded to first class. That's all well and good, but after the fact. Again, IMHO it's doubtful that family will be booking American for future trips. A policy review, followed by training and a restructuring that pushes decision making and authority as far down the chain as possible are all called for (at both companies).
The really sad part about this is it's no different in many other areas. Employees treat customers as a distraction at best and an imposition otherwise. Folks, if your business doesn't have customers, you don't have a business. Just because the IRS can get away with that business model, doesn't mean you have the law enforcement assets to make your business work like they do.
We had already booked a flight on United for the end of June before these debacles happened. It may be our last flight on that airline. We'll see.
*Adaptation of a quote from a movie.
**Anyone but (fill in the F) United.