Bad Customer Service Can Leave Your Company Feeling (Jet) Blue
In both large and small businesses throughout the world, customer service is the one constant that can make or break a company. The most coveted consumer for any company is one who maintains long-term loyalty, and a negative experience with a product or service can have a dramatic impact. As companies face increased pressure to maintain the bottom line in a global market, they face the dilemma of whether to spend money on improving customer service or cut costs and risk losing customers.
To help companies avoid the type of public meltdown experienced by JetBlue, executives at the National Business Research Institute (NBRI) announced today a renewed emphasis on its comprehensive strategy toward building solid customer service plans for its clients.
“What happened at JetBlue last week can happen to any company at any time,” said Dr. J.T. West, a Ph.D. and founder of NBRI. “It’s an example of how something can happen in the blink of an eye that turns a customer service darling like JetBlue into a dud.”
JetBlue’s story of bad customer service began to unwind last week when snow and extreme temperatures froze equipment and grounded the company’s planes at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Most airlines canceled flights early, but JetBlue decided to try to wait out the storm and keep flying.
Hit hardest was a group of Mexico-bound passengers stranded inside an aircraft on the tarmac for nearly 11 hours. While they waited within sight of the terminal, passengers were left without food and working restrooms before the carrier finally acted to get people off the plane and back to the terminal. The problem didn’t end on the JFK tarmac, however, as JetBlue’s woes continued over the next few days with 1,097 flight cancellations affecting more than 100,000 passengers.
“It was like – what's the name of that prison in Vietnam where they held McCain? The Hanoi Hilton,” Sean Corrinet, one of the unlucky passengers stuck aboard the flight for Cancun, told the Associated Press. Suffice it to say, that when the clientele of a company compare their experience to a prison camp it is an example of poor customer service.
Companies should take a lesson from JetBlue’s bungle, especially since the carrier had a reputation as a favorite among travelers for their outstanding customer service. Tactics employed by NBRI so its clients don’t become the next bad customer service story, include identifying consumer trends, capitalizing on company strengths, and spotting any glaring weaknesses.
For more than 20 years, the Addison, Texas-based NBRI has led the way in solving poor customer service issues, defining scientific and psychological research for multi-billion dollar companies like CompUSA, GM Corporation, and Walt Disney World.
“NBRI’s customer surveys can save clients a tremendous amount of money and help keep their reputations intact,” said West. “No business wants to be saddled with the label of providing poor customer service. That’s why strengths and weaknesses need to be identified now by using our customized customer surveys to access needs and achieve the highest levels of performance and profitability.”
Based in Addison, Texas, NBRI conducts customer and employee research for thousands of clients, including Fortune 500 companies worldwide. NBRI survey instruments incorporate the highest levels of scientific psychological research. Established in 1982, NBRI is recognized as a leader and trusted provider of customer and employee surveys based upon proven scientific principles.
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