Keeping your customers happy is hard to do. This is even harder in an industry like ours. Customers blame the airlines for delayed flights, cancelled flights, packed up flights or even when you put them up at a hotel on your expense. But from the customer’s perspective, this is really fair. You made a promise to them but could not keep to it. But what makes your customers get dis-satisfied then?
The real reason to bad customer relations is that you do not take the blame when you are at fault. When you have made a mistake – what the passenger is expecting from you is not a free voucher or any other sort of compensation, but for you to admit that mistake and honestly be sorry about it. But the old phrase of “We apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused” does no help for it – and the airlines are rarely known as honest.
The secret is to take the blame on yourself. If the flight is delayed – be it MX or WX – consider that it is fair for it to be blamed on you. The customer really needs is only someone to blame it on – and that will eventually cool them down, which is a centuries old human trait. And once they are cooled down, you may explain the real consequences to your customers. There is no point in trying to explain something to an angry customer and it will only end up being an argument. But once you explain to them when they are cooled down, they may actually feel sorry for you, and might also be inclined to do business with you another time.
So, the next time you have a customer crisis, say that you are sorry – instead of any complex press release that will also have a legal statement at the end. Show your customers that you really care for them. They will love you back, right away. Remember, a bad experience is hardly forgotten – what matters is not the mistake you made, but how you made up for that.