Tag Archives for " mistake "

Why price does not drive quality service (or how United Airlines still hasn’t solved their mistake)

An unsolved mistake United Airlines made tarnishes their brand

How two brands solved their mistake (or not)

(and why a third brand actually solved a mistake that wasn't theirs)

Have you ever made a mistake? How about one that directly impacted one of your customers, clients or guests? We've all made mistakes, but it's how you deal with them that's the real important issue.

You'd think the more money you spend the better service (and the faster mistake resolution) you would receive. Well, turns out nothing could be farther from the truth. Let me tell you my experience with two airlines I had last month. Both are US carriers. Both made mistakes. However, that's really where the similarities end. 

If you know anything about providing good service to your customers, then you know that mistakes are one of the best opportunities to make a positive impression on your customers. Actually it's not the mistakes, but how you handle them that makes or breaks the relationship with your client. 

[Side note: Ever since I've heard Horst Schulze, the former CEO of the Ritz-Carlton, speak about service (read more on that in "What I learned about service from a wise hotelier"), I've become very interested in watching how the brands I use provide customer service and am working hard to build a customer service focused company myself.]

Mistake #1: United Airlines loose my bag for 7 days

United Airlines mistake turns into a major hassle for their customer

United Airlines mistake turns into a major hassle.

Mistake #1: I booked a business class ticket to Asia on United Airlines (@United). Price of the ticket $2,445.76. Multiply that by three for the rest of the team that is flying with me and we're spending close to $7,500.- on that flight. When we arrive in Saigon 5 out of 6 checked bags don't make it. Even though they are tagged 'Premiere Service' and are supposed to be off the aircraft before any other bags. 2 days later 4 out of the 5 missing bags make it to the hotel, but the 5th bag -one of my bags- takes a full week to get to my hotel. But it's not the mistake that makes me upset with United Airlines.

Mistake #2: Spirit doesn't issue promised travel vouchers

Mistake #2: I booked a flight for my wife and daughter to evacuate before a hurricane hits Florida on Spirit Airlines (@SpiritAirlines). Price of both ticket $318.11. Their connecting flight in Houston is overbooked, so they decide to give up their seats for a free travel voucher and a flight later that day. Houston had just been hit by a hurricane a few days earlier, and Spirit's systems are down, so all of this is being done by hand. When my wife checks a few days later, there are no travel vouchers to her name and the call center tells her that their records indicate she was on the Spirit flight, even though Spirit paid for a change to fly them on United. 

It's not the mistake that gets you

OK, like I said mistakes happen - we all make them - it's in how you solve them that makes the difference. In the interest of full disclosure, I personally have made the exact mistake that United had made, when I worked for an airline in college. I routed a bag onto the wrong flight and my boss at the time sat me down once they figured out what had happened and explained to me the inconvenience I had caused one of their customers. I never made that mistake again.

  

  

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"A key principle in fixing a problem is to resolve the customer's sense of injustice–of having been wronged or let down." write Leonardo Inghiller and Michah Solomon in their book Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The secret of building a five-star customer service organization. "You can find a way yo restore the smile to almost any customer's face, wether it's a free upgrade or a more creative offering.

Let's look at how these two companies address their mistakes. On the face of these two examples, you would think that United would be much more interested to solve a mistake they made to a $7500 customer than Spirit would want to solve a mistake they made to a $300 customer. Well I was surprised too. Here's what happened:

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How to fix the biggest mistake you’re making on Social Media

Sometimes you just want to undo your mistakes

I’ve been on social media platforms for a decade now. Building my LinkedIn profile, updating my Facebook pages, creating photos for Instagram and tweeting a couple tweets a week.

We all are. Twitter’s stream is even called a firehose, simply because there are so many tweets streaming through that social media channel, that no one can keep up with reading what everybody has to say.

The big question

Here’s the big question for a visual content creator: “How do you get your voice heard?” or rather “how do you get your vision seen?” 

In a flood of grumpy cats, internet memes and yesterday’s late show’s video clips – it seems impossible for your visual content to compete.

You’re doing it all wrong

We talk about our gear: do you shoot Nikon or Canon; how do you backup your files; how to create a focus stack or the perfect HDR shot or the favorite piece of gear, or…

STOP IT!

Can I tell you a secret? You’re clients don’t care. They couldn’t care less if you found the perfect RAW processing software (which is Capture One, in case you were wondering).  They aren’t looking for your explanation of what company provides the best services to run your website (I’m partial to Photoshelter myself). Do you really think you got hired, because of that blog post explaining how to get Facebook to take down a copyrighted image or how to power a GoPro for a couple of days for a long time-lapse?

For almost 10 years I’ve been doing just that – and be honest, so have you. We’re targeting the wrong audience – we’re writing about what we want to learn as photographers.  We’re writing for photographers.

I like you guys, but not one of you is going to hire me because of what I’m blogging, tweeting, Facebooking and Instagramming about.  And the people who are looking for a photographer or video creator?  They’re not going to hire me because of those posts, either.

The secret to doing social media the right way

Use social media to put your potential client in a front row seat:

  • Take your client with you. Periscope when you’re scouting a place.
  • Blog about your recent assignment, but talk about how you solved a problem, you’re client is facing.
  • Instagram some behind the scenes shots or have your assistant create a quick behind the scenes video to post on your Facebook page.
  • Tweet a link to your latest customer recommendation on LinkedIn.
  • Share a testimonial video of one of you’re clients recounting why they loved working with you.

You don’t have to stop creating content that other photographers are interested in. It’s great to have Google see you as the expert when it comes to talking about photography, video and marketing, but please spend just as much time on creating content that your potential clients are scouring the web for when they’re looking for the next creative to shoot for them.

Social Media is a powerful platform, but it requires you to know the interests of your audience and what they are willing to spend their time on as well as where that audience is.

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[This article first appeared on “Strictly Business“, the blog for the American Society for Media Photographers.]