People are usually wrong… but customers are always right

April 6, 2009

I’m standing in line, boarding a Southwest Airlines flight. I’m in the B boarding group (B20) and know I will have no problem securing a window or aisle seat. Meanwhile, the couple in front of me is complaining about the boarding procedure – “its too long”, “It takes forever”, “I feel like we’re being herded”. Now, while everyone is entitled to their opinion, these two people are wrong.

Southwest has the fastest gate turn-around times, the fastest passenger load times, the highest percentage of on-time flights, it consistently has the lowest fares, and the service (in my experience) is always top notch.

These customers are experiencing the same things that I am experiencing. They paid less, are receiving better service, are boarding the plane faster, and wile I am happy, they are not. And even though, as people, they are wrong, as customers, they are right. So how do you help your customers see the bright side? How do you get them to acknowledge everything you are doing well? I don’t know the answer, but telling them that they’re wrong (even when they are!) certainly won’t help.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tracy Jane April 6, 2009 at 2:15 pm

I think we live in a society where we are used to instant gratification so any wait is unacceptable to us. I think setting expectations is the most important way to help customers be happy. If they know there will be a slight wait, they will be more okay with it than if they expect to be ushered through. Making them feel important, letting them know they are appreciated, and being as efficient as possible helps. I think communication is also the most important thing. If you a tell a customer they have to wait, they might get pissed, but if you tell them they have to wait because you are turning the plane around so it is clean for them, they will understand. The why is important. The expectations you set are important. But some people will never be happy. :)

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