In a recent article I addressed The Strategy of Preeminence taught by Jay Abraham. Studying and coaching on this material has heightened my awareness of examples of people and companies who exemplify a preeminent mindset. Unfortunately there seems to be a dominance of examples opposite of a client success focused culture. Every example is an opportunity for business to improve. Every improvement will be met with a corresponding increase in business profits.
United Airlines automated systems called me to alert me a flight I had scheduled was cancelled. Being notified was good. Working on practical alternatives with United was a nightmare. It is true United Airlines booked me on a later flight. However, when you have plans beginning at noon, arriving at 6:30PM is not a viable option. In researching alternatives, I learned there was a flight that would have arrived only two hours late. That flight was on American which is a Star Alliance Partner of United. United didn’t book me on that flight, however United tried to call them and after a 45 minute wait there was not enough time to book it, confirm it and make the flight.
The logistics were one item. A deeper issue was communication. United Airlines customer support is located in India. While well intended, communication with people in a country where English is not their first language just does not work. It was so difficult that I went to the airport in Chicago and tried to resolve the situation there. I learned that I could book a flight back to my home town in Tampa for a price of nearly $500. On line earlier, the price of that flight was $181.00 The representative at the airport gave me some explanation about rates that didn’t make sense. Additionally I could tell he really was not trying to help me.
I finally found a flight back to Tampa on another airline at a reasonable price. It was clear I was not going to get to my original destination so I decided to fly home. When I got to the gate for that flight I found it was delayed and hour which would mean I would miss my connecting flight. However the gate agent said “wait a minute I can get you on a United Flight direct leaving in an hour” She demonstrated a sincere client focused mindset. Ultimately I made that flight and returned home not feeling very good about spending most of the day on these logistics.
The airline industry has people that do their job well with a “serve the client” attitude. However, many parts of this system are broken including pricing and phone support. There are airlines that get it more right than wrong. My favorite is Southwest which is why they have been consistently profitable. Yes there is a direct correlation between serving the client and profitability.
Recommended Action Steps
If you have an automated attended phone system, trash it and have a live person answer the phones.
If you use staff from a third world country for customer service, develop US based call centers for US and English speaking customer calls.
Be sure your business model on line is consistent with your physical business model.
Strategically evaluate how well you are doing implementing a Strategy of Preeminence.
Get A Business Coach! If you already have a business with more than 10 employees, Hire A Consultant who is able to work with you part of the time on-site.
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About: Steve Pohlit CPA,MBA has been the CFO and COO of major domestic and international companies. Steve has extensive business ownership experience having purchased and started off line and on line businesses.
Steve offers his build business profits expertise to companies and entrepreneurs with business coaching and business consulting. His focus is on building business profits and net asset value at above average rates. Steve incorporates health and wellness plus relationship guidance in his work as they are at the foundation of achieving all goals.
All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.