My saga with a certain airline has come to an end. I should emphasise “end” and not “resolution”. I know that it can’t go any further but I don’t feel satisfied. Which now leads me to my final lesson that I have learnt from airline customer service.

The two previous sets of lessons can be found at https://onsolution.com.au/blog/jetstars-customer-care/ and https://onsolution.com.au/blog/jetstar-customer-care/

The customer needs to be listened to

In the case of my not so favourite airline, they eventually got back to me within their “15 business days response time”. They politiely listened for 2 minutes and then tried to fob me off with a gift voucher. I had four specific complaints and after each the airline customer service person was just keen to stop the conversation assuming that I had said my piece and the issue was resolved. It felt like I was talking to a person who was going through the motions with the goal of closing the job and not much more.

Practically I guess if you can ring a person, pretend to listen for 5 minutes, offer them a gift voucher and then close the call and that keeps them satisfied, then good luck to you. Pity they can’t do that within 24 hours of the complaint being registered.

But that’s not what I was after. By waiting so long and having time to think this through (and blog about it), I had specific issues that I wanted addressed. I wasn’t after a pay-off.I wanted to voice an issue with their processes.

The customer needs to know they had an impact

The final result – details of my call will be put in the daily summary and passed onto his manager.

Will I get a call back to find out what happens regarding the comments? No.

Will it be lost in a flood of other comments? Yes.

Did I have an impact? No.

Do they care? No.

The personal lesson

When people have a problem, they want to be listened to, they want to have it resolved, and if there is a larger problem at hand, that it is being addressed.

Yesterday we had someone email us with a problem with our web site. It was great. It gave me a chance to fix the problem immediately and try to put in place a check list to stop it happening again. The alternative was for the problem to remain there for ever and have disgruntled customers just give up and put up with problems. More often than not, customers aren’t complaining to make the other person feel bad, but to fix the issue. It’s a win-win, not a win-lose.

Conclusion

So after 3 weeks I have finally had my flight, not had my initial issues resolved by the airline customer service, but then feel fobbed off by the follow up. Hopefully my customers won’t ever experience the same.