Sunday, September 23, 2007

Conversing with Airlines

Following up on my post yesterday about conversing with companies, I realized that I have a lot to say to airlines. I just took United's online survey and was very disappointed by the experience. I appreciate that there are specific quality metrics that United is interested in measuring and that they think the only cost effective way to do so is through statistical analysis, but this is VERY dissatisfying as a customer. I have specific feedback and I want to have a conversation with them!

And as a customer, I should be important to them. I am working on my second million miles on their airline and I also frequently fly on their competitors airplanes. So I am an experienced consumer of their product. Given my current projects, I will easily spend $20,000 on airplane tickets next year including domestic and international travel. So why wouldn't they want to know what I have to say?

Furthermore, there has to be the reward of talking to them that comes from (a) feeling like I am being listened to; and (b) that there is some accountability -- someone will do something about the issues I raise. The "reward" for filling out their survey was entry into some ridiculous contest that no one ever wins. That is not a reward, that is an insult.

There are a lot of things I like about United, but I have a few complaints. They would be a better company if the figured out how to converse with their customers and they would win me over as a greater advocate for them. This is a good example of how companies could be engaging in conversational media as an alternative to traditional advertising.

Hello United, anyone listening?

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