“It takes two weeks for your employees to start treating customers the way you treat them.”
This makes you wonder how the management of United Airlines treat their people. The story of the week was not that of Bomber Trump but the ordinary (but extraordinary) story of a Doctor who’d paid for his seat, had been checked in and then allowed to sit in his seat and do up his seatbelt being dragged bleeding and broken nosed from that seat because they wanted it for an employee and had arbitrarily chosen him to “de-plane”.
Think about it.
United must have managed to create a culture of utter hatred. The idea of beating up someone who’d given you their money to fulfil a contract is just so weird as to defy analysis.
They had a problem - the way to solve it was crudely by money. They wanted people off the plane so they could get employees to another airport. An airline like Virgin (maybe) and South Western (certainly) would have turned it into a win-win game:-
“Do you want $2000 plus an all-expenses-paid night in a top hotel and a first class flight to your destination tomorrow? All you have to do is give up your seat, so raise your hand….your names go in a hat and the lucky ones win.”
Have we lost the art of marketing? Have we become stupid?
United will rue this and their top team will be punished. But consider this first response from their CEO:-
Well Oscar this is an upsetting event and we apologise for having to re-accommodate you in the dole queue. As regards the passenger involved well it was his fault apparently for refusing to leave the seat he’d paid for. That’ll teach him not to stand up for his rights.
Yet some experts in the aviation business say the incident unavoidable given the regulations involved.
Recently - it was Sam Walton again - I read this:-
“There is only one boss - the customer - and he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”
If you don’t feel valued as an employee or as a customer bad things will happen.
It was not a good week for business ethics with Aspen Pharmaceuticals trying to achieve a massive price hike on cancer medicines. Leaked internal e-mails depict the company as unscrupulous and prepared to actually destroy cancer pills if the Spanish Health service thwarted Aspen’s price increase. Meanwhile at Barclays CEO, Jes Staley, is in trouble for having broken their rules in trying to unmask a whistle-blower.
The media, on the other hand, had a great week teaching CEOs to behave properly…or else.
Or else what?
United’s stock value fell by $1 billion this week.