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Mike Root

Follow Up From Comments on My United Airlines article

September 24, 2012

Ten days ago I wrote about my experience on United airlines. You can read it in the last post. As I was reviewing the comments there were a couple of items worth noting.
First of all, I was using my experience on a United flight to underscore what they did to make a frequent customer feel more loyal to their brand. As another reader posted, I have not been really enamored with United / Continental since the merger. They have cut back on benefits in some areas, and I have definitely seen price increases and route changes in certain markets including Greensboro. My article was not about their execution in a macro sense but rather a pilot --- one guy in the big company --- who took the time to acknowledge his preferred customers. We all should be doing this no matter what industry we are in or what business economics our company must take.

Second, about our pilot, Mr. John McFadden. Though I never wrote him personally nor mentioned him by name in the article, if you go back and see the first comment to my last post, you will see that Mr. McFadden took the time to read this blog post and comment. In today's Internet world, you can find out what people are saying about you or your company and start a conversation or respond to one. There are services that do reputation management, etc. I was impressed that a pilot took the time to not only write a note to me as I was sitting in his plane, but then find my comments on an unrelated blog post. For your company to endear yourself to your customers, this type of over the top one to one communication is what will help make your business more personable to the end consumer.

Third, as good as Mr. McFadden was for United, their personnel at the front door of the United Club west room in Denver were equally as bad. Having just flown through there, all the good feelings I had about United from the previous week were erased by stupidity. Make sure as best you can that all personnel work to be customer friendly. It's a challenging business environment for furniture stores, airlines and any other business that works with the consumer. Those that will maintain a consistent quality customer service profile will be the winners with customers coming back time and again. The inconsistent customer service performers will end up having their customers always looking for new service providers.

Thanks for all your comments. I can hardly wait to get on a plane again to head down to market. Hopefully Mr. McFadden will be flying it and not the lady from the United Club.