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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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