3 Lessons Brands Should Learn From United Airlines
This year alone we have encountered many horrible corporate apologies. I'm not sure if the apologies are bad because the company knows they will continue to get support or maybe they just don't care at all. The internet has been going crazy with a video of a United Airlines customer being dragged off of the plane because he was not willing to give up his seat due to United Airlines overbooking that flight. They needed four seats for there employees that needed to be to work the following morning. Apparently, the airlines offered a few incentives to four customers and no one was interested. So United decided to randomly select four participants to give up their seats on the plane. One person out of the four passengers said he couldn't get off of the plane because he had something important to do in the morning. This end up resulting in the video that has the has since gone viral. Technology can sometimes be a pain but I am so happy that it is around for brands to be exploited when they do things like this to customers.
Since this video made its way to the social media everyone was enraged with United Airlines. Southwest airlines have taken the opportunity to assure consumers that they would never have to go through that treatment flying with Southwest.
United Airlines finally released a statement from their CEO Oscar Munoz, on twitter saying:
Another apology released a day after the initial apology:
1. Always be professional!
United employees acting out in this situation by dragging a passenger off the plane was completely unnecessary. It is so important to remain professional in all settings at work and failure to do so can result in a tarnish of the brand. It can also result in the companies shares dropping. According to www.mashable.com, shares in the company had declined about 3.8 percent in mid-morning trading, a steep drop for a major company like United. By late afternoon, United shares had recovered to be down about 1.5 percent, putting its hit closer to $100 million.
2. Carefully prepare a response.
Reading the response from United Airlines CEO left a bad taste in my mouth. He apologized for " having to re-accommodate these customers". So what I pretty much received from this response was that pulling a passenger off the plane by his arms are "re-accommodating customers". Whoever hold the position as PR for United Airlines should have prepared a more sincere apology because they were in the wrong. It is not the customer's fault that the plane was "overbooked". Always be sure that your response or apology during a crisis is genuine and pleases the consumers.
3. Take accountability!
Always take accountability when you( the company) are in the wrong. It's nothing better than a company and/organization owning up to its wrong doings. We all understand that things happen but failure to admit that you (the company) is wrong when there is actual proof just doesn't look good at all.
Take a look at Jimmy Kimmel's thoughts on United Airlines!
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