The “Cost” of Bad Customer Service

Today, I encountered a glitch with the US Airways web site. I am a Chairman Level customer with them and try to fly them as often as possible. Their direct competitor for my business is Delta. Delta offers; on board WiFi; more than one power outlet in the gate area; and more flight options. Yet, Delta has Atlanta. And only those readers who are frequent flyers understand the Monte Carlo scenario that is Atlanta.

So I spend with US Airways between $30,000 to $50,000 per year flying to my clients. Today a US Airways customer service representative committed the following acts that drive us all crazy;
1. She did not listen to the reason for my call.
2. She told me to call someone else.
3. She never asked me for the error code to tell me what I did wrong or how to correct it.
4. She hung up on me.

I then called back, spoke to the supervisor. He did the following;
1. Listened to what made me call in the first place.
2. Asked me the error code.
3. Told me how to fix it.
4. Acted like he cared about the other rep hanging up.

He apologized to me. I told him the apology should come from the one who hung up. And further, after the flight this week, they will lose my business if she does not apologize directly to me.

He asked if I recorded her name. I had not, it was mumbled and I never thought someone in customer service with US Airways would just hang up on someone! After telling him I know that they record the calls, and can look at the records to see who answered the call. (He checked my Chairman account to see if she accessed it to ‘tag’ her and she had not).

I then took him through the math of his next decision.
1. The cost of looking up the information = -1 hour X $50/hour = -$50
2. The cost of coaching her = -1 hour X $50/hour = -$50
3. Lost Revenues if they don’t = low end ann budget = $30,000
(I realize that $50 is overstating it, plug in any reasonable number you want).

They can save $100 and lose $30,000. The next step is theirs, but at least $29,900 hangs in the balance. Choose well Jovan!


About Consulting With Results
Experienced Consultant focused on delivering results across various industries, and throughout the value chain.

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