Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – November 23, 2015

I want recount for you a recent experience I had with American Airlines, not to pick on AA, but to use it as a case study for what many of you are doing to your customers.

I called American Airlines reservations last week to book a flight to see a client in Philadelphia. Almost one and half hours and three people later, I finally had my ticket booked. Here are some of the particulars with some general questions for you to consider.

The agent I spoke to was in a call centre with other agents and the background noise was so loud, it sounded like she was in a noisy restaurant. I had to keep yelling my credit card information into the phone.

  • Are your employees taking customer calls in a place where they can best focus on the customer?

The travel voucher I was using to book the flight was issued in Canadian dollars, but the AA reservation system only accepts US dollars. It took 20 minutes and three people to figure out how to apply the voucher. Not to mention that it was a paper voucher and needed to be mailed in to be applied.

  • Is your technology or your internal processes limiting your ability to resolve customer issues quickly and effectively?

After all this was completed, I contacted the executive responsible for the customer experience at AA (whose title was SVP of the Customer Experience). I received a message from the Customer Relations department on behalf of this executive, who then proceeded to tell me they have no incoming phone lines so I can’t call them back.

  • Are you providing customers an easy way to get in touch with you?

What American Airlines forgot is that every customer complaint is an opportunity to connect with customers. It is an opportunity to help those customers become more loyal. Or even become evangelists for the brand. Had AA handled this properly, I could have become a more loyal customer. Instead, I will avoid using AA at all costs.

Are you providing customer service or doing your customers a disservice?

Looking for more insights?
Are you a small or medium-sized business owner looking to accelerate growth and maximize profitability? Then you need to register for my free workshop on How to Accelerate Growth Through Operational Excellence.
I will also be hosting a teleconference on November 27 on Why Your Operational Excellence Function is Failing. Click here for more details and to register.
Want to become more adept at Operational Excellence? Check out my new Operational Excellence program.
Check out my podcast series called Hockey Management, where I use hockey as an analogy for successful business results.
Prefer watching videos? The take a look at my short videos providing operational excellence tips.
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM

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Andrew Miller
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2015.

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