So, last night I found myself boarding an American Airlines flight in Dallas, heading back home to New Orleans. This was the fourth leg of my trip, having gotten to Austin two days earlier. My older brother is the pilot in the family, so I can’t tell you what sort of aircraft this was. No, it was not the largest in the American fleet, but nor was it a “puddle jumper.”
I simply deplore checked baggage, so I pack pretty light. I was attempting to do all of my work during this trip on my iPad, so I wasn’t even packing a laptop. With an arrival time in New Orleans of 11:20 PM, the idea of heading to baggage claim for an additional 20 minutes wasn’t something I was looking to do. It therefore came as I pretty unpleasant surprise when the gate attendant informed me that my bag was too big, and would need to be checked. She didn’t place it in that metal measuring device thing, so it was simply a judgement call on her part. Upon getting on the plane, there were others grumbling too, especially when we saw all the space in the overhead storage compartments.
So, I did what any self respecting man would do: I tweeted. To be fair, American Airlines was right on it, seeing my tweet in a manner of minutes and responding to me. The problem was, their response was to send me a link to their baggage policy. Of course I tweeted back that it was their gate attendant who needed the policy, not me. There were no follow-on tweets.
While I’m sure that some customer service guru has made a more formal study of this, it seems that as it pertains to customer complaints and issues, there are three factors involved: speed, attitude, and result. In this case, American Airlines was quite quick to respond. They were cordial enough in their message, so I’ll give points for that, but the problem was, the result was completely empty. A copy of your policy? Really? Your gate attendant has already failed in the empathy department, and this is the response?
The mathematics of customer service is really universal, and while Juvo is hardly American Airlines, we will continue to work hard towards hitting all three of these factors for the clients we are fortunate to serve.