Readers of this blog know that I am not a huge fan of failure. I think it is overrated and should be minimized. Instead, I like to view innovation through the lens of experimentation.
But sometimes a failure in execution can be a way to impress customers. I wrote about some examples of bad situations turning into great customer experiences a while back that might be of interest to you.
But now, companies are turning more and more to social media for their customer service. So when I had an issue, I decided to give it a try.
On Delta.com I paid extra for a Comfort+ seat. It has more legroom and lets you board early. I saw that there were some desirable seats still available (in addition to a number of middle seats). So I paid for the upgrade and went to book my seat. But the system wouldn’t let me choose a seat and was told that I would be assigned one at the gate before takeoff.
I was not happy. I did not pay extra to end up in a middle seat. So I tweeted about it.
Within minutes I get a tweet back from Delta:
And after sending them my confirmation number via DM, I was assigned a wonderful exit row, aisle seat:
They took (what I assume to be) a system failure and turned it into a customer satisfaction success story. Knowing that I can get this level of service from them is very encouraging and makes me want to fly them even more.
Consider how other airlines have handled some recent (albeit much bigger) issues via social media: United leggings fiasco and American’s wheelchair debacle. Neither of these resulted in building fans for their airlines. They could have handled these situations differently and come out looking good (or at least not as bad as they do).
How can you turn each negative situation into a chance to create a positive image in the eyes of others?
P.S. Most of my experiences are not this positive. Just yesterday I had a terrible experience with a major timeshare company. Their phone support was atrocious and the Twitter support has (as of now) been non-existent.
P.P.S. Only a few days after writing this, the king of all failures was delivered by United when they dragged a Doctor off the airplane. Afterwards, United did nothing to improve their position with their customers. YIKES!