American Airlines has decided to celebrate arrivals, so they’ve created this cute video story for the holidays:
Customers, however, have been telling a different story for quite some time. One about a miserable flying experience, complete with delays, overcrowded flights, surly flight attendants, untidy planes, ever-shrinking legroom, and seats that (almost) don’t recline.
Here’s the disconnect: the company is talking about the destination, while for its customers it’s all about the journey (and they’re not happy).
The objective of this short post is not to pick on American Airlines or the airline industry but simply to show how we can sometimes become out of touch with the people we’re supposed to serve. This pattern is common among big, bureaucratic companies, government entities and Washington politicians.
How can we avoid this? First, we have to care. Then, we can simply follow our customers’ journey through all our brand’s touchpoints, taking notes and fixing what needs to be fixed.
We can also use social media tools to get feedback on how to create a better customer experience. All we have to do to start is to monitor a few Twitter searches, set up some Google Alerts, create a Facebook fan page, and then start listening, engaging and addressing our customers’ pain points.
After some time, the result should be increased trust, customer loyalty and the emergence of a story that is relevant, sounds authentic and resonates with customers.