If nothing else, just don’t make them feel neglected.
I travel. Quite extensively some might say. And being that I live in Atlanta, naturally, my go to airline is Delta. Delta have been nice to me over the years. Some small hiccups here and there but overall, with Delta I feel at home. Every now and then, due to some specific client’s needs or request I fly another airline. When I do, usually the feeling is different. Whether it’s the fact I do not have the status with them, or the perks I don’t get, or simply because it is different than what I am used to, the feeling is there. My instinct is to compare to what I’m used to. And when the experience is not as what I am used to, feeling neglected is what comes to mind. And in my opinion, feeling neglected as a customer is one of the worst feeling you can have.
You know how sometimes you wait online and there is a long period of silence? Or how you haven’t heard back from your supplier for a week even though they said they will get back to you the next day? That kind of feeling neglected. Do your clients feel neglected sometimes?
"The problem is when you ignore your clients, your competitors are still begging for their attention" AFZ
This story started, as many of my stories do, at the ATL Airport….
Feeing neglected on Air Canada 7690 flight from ATL to Montreal.
Originally the flight was supposed to depart yesterday. Due to weather issues in Atlanta, the flight got delayed a couple of times until eventually cancelled.
The monitor kept showing one time, a sporadic email told a different story, and the Air Canada representatives at the counter simply did not say anything. I know what you’re thinking. Poor counter people, they too probably did not have the latest information to share. Well, me personally, I say….SO SHARE THAT!!! It is no shame to say – hey, there are delays going on, as soon as we hear something y’all (it is Atlanta after all) be the first to know. And regardless, I will update you again here in 10 minutes. So the people who are traveling (you know, us, the clients) do not feel…there it is….neglected.
People started lining up by the counter, so we all realized there is something going on and formed a long line. Rumors started flying and people were lost for a while. Mind you, if the flight is cancelled, most travelers will need to find a place to stay for the night.
My suggestion is to keep us, the travelers, informed. Even if you don’t know the details, say that. Much better than nothing at all.
The good news - I got rebooked automatically to a new ad hock flight the next morning, and since I live in Atlanta, I immediately thought about lemons and making a lemonade and called my daughter telling her we’re having dinner.
It is now the next morning. We are all boarded on the plane ready to go. It is Friday. The 13th. And to be honest, until the flight attendant just mentioned that fact, I completely wasn’t aware of it. But now, I feel neglected. Here we go….again…
40 minutes ago, the captain gets on the mic and goes…
” Ladies and gentlemen. As you know this flight was cancelled yesterday. They haven’t loaded all the details in the system yet. We also don’t have catering services due to this flight being changed. We are also trying to figure out how to make the video screens to work. Should be just a few minutes.
Other than that, it’s a two-hour flight. Oh, and there is a snow storm in Montreal but should be fine.
Please sit back, relax and enjoy the service.”
I’m thinking to myself…he literally said - the service….
10 minutes go by. 20, 30 and nothing. North American culture dictates that you sit and wait patiently. Otherwise, it’s considered rude. So, no one from the passengers says anything but you can hear that everyone is getting antsy. It’s been over an hour since we sat down. It’s been over 30 minutes since we last heard from the cockpit. Say something!! Anything!! Just don’t make us feel….that’s right….neglected.
And then, finally we hear the mic opens and the captain goes….
“Ladies and gentlemen, well, one of our two flight attendants left her passport in the hotel, and she cannot fly. So, we are going to have just one flight attendant on our flight today. With only 40 passengers we should be fine”.
And I’m thinking….well….there’s no food to serve anyway so honestly, we could do without a flight attendant at all…
Dear Air Canada. I get it. I really do. Shit happens. Just please, work with your staff, remind them to communicate.
Just like I preach to my clients. One of the worse feeling a client can experience is feeling neglected.
Call your clients ladies and gentlemen. On an ongoing basis. Communicate with them. Find a valuable update. A relevant piece of information. And if they are waiting on an update and you don’t have that update, tell them that! It is a valuable update for them.
We are finally getting ready to take off. I have a strange feeling that this is not the end of the story here. Hopefully we take off, hopefully we land safely in Montreal and hopefully Air Canada learns to communicate better so I don’t feel neglected.
Dear Delta Airlines, it is now Sunday. Just landed back in ATL from my weekend in Montreal. Walking through the airport, seeing your logo everywhere, I am thinking to myself - have I made YOU feel a bit neglected?