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Joe Marconi

Seven ways to lose a customer

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Seven ways to lose a customer


My experience on a recent trip to Chicago prompted me to write this week’s tip:


After punching in my information at the self check-in, my boarding pass stated that I needed to see an airline agent at the gate for seat assignment. Confused and annoyed I headed to security and then on to the gate.


At the gate I found three, that’s right three, airline personnel. They went on with what they doing, totally ignoring me for 5 minutes until I finally spoke up. What happened next was an example of the very worst in customer service...


So, from my travel experience with American Airlines, here are six ways to lose a customer. Hopefully you will never do the following:

  1. When someone approaches the service counter, ignore them
  2. Never make eye contact with the customer
  3. As the customer speaks, stare into space. Make no gestures, no comments, just stare away with indifference
  4. After the customer has finished speaking, continue to stare, don’t say a word
  5. If the phone rings, pick it immediately and turn away from the customer at the counter. Oh, and act real friendly with the caller on the phone.
  6. Without addressing the customer’s concerns, tell the customer, “Hold on” and walk away
  7. When you return, ask the customer, “Ok, how can I help you”

Believe it or not, this is what happened at the American Airlines gate. And the airlines wonder why they are not profitable?





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Just had something similar happen to me the other day, may seem irrelevant but thought I'd share, I have one of those little electric popular heaters I leave on in our customer waiting area, makes the office nice and cozy, when it quit working the other day I called the shop in town where I bought it to see if I could drop it off, the first response I received from the guy on the phone was " yea we will look at it but it's fifty bucks just to look at it and we are three weeks behind" I got the feeling he was trying to discourage me from bringing it in. I thought to myself it's the dead of winter and I'm trying to get something repaired I bought from you. I considered this terrible customer service and now know I'll never purchase anything from these people again. Same thing goes in the spring when the lawn mower breaks down and I hear " man we are a month behind" I say but it's prime mowing season and I bought it from you. When I'm really busy and a customer calls I might say something like" yes mr johnson I'd be happy to look at your car, we are a little busy at the moment but I'll take a look at it as soon as I can" some phone conversations can go a long way

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