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The United Airlines Incident Just Showed Every Business Why Customer Service is Vital to Success (and Failure)

In today’s digital age many organizations, both big and small, fail to recognize the importance of customer service. It has quite honestly become the lifeblood of successful business. One of the main reasons for this is that customers have been given voices that are louder than ever, mostly thanks to social media and having more choice amongst service providers with lower switching costs. With this type of power, a single negative incident that ends up being made public can be extremely detrimental to a business. Before you know it an entire hashtag can be started and your #PRFail can be made viral, just like it happened with the United incident.

As I’m sure you have heard by now, United Airlines had one of the worst customer service moments the public has seen in recent years. Just last month, they faced criticism for barring two young girls dressed in leggings from boarding a flight since it violated their dress code policy. In this latest incident, due to an overbooking of a flight, which in and of itself is a tough situation to navigate, United Airlines decided to remove passengers in order to make room for others who were deemed a “higher priority.” Unfortunately, one man who was randomly selected to be removed did not want to give up his seat as he needed to make it home. After a few unsuccessful attempts, United undertook to physically remove this man. But as mentioned, the power of social media prevailed and there were pictures, videos, and tweetstorms up within minutes…

…And United has been feeling the wrath ever since!

Hashtags like #BoycottUnited and #UnitedFail have gone viral. People are completely outraged and United Airlines is now taking a HUGE hit to their reputation which could easily impact future customers’ decision to fly United. Even investors are worried and as of Tuesday, their stock had slipped by nearly 3% despite a public statement from the CEO. They are showing the world how important it is to make the right moves when it comes to customers, always making sure they are treated with the best possible service – in good times and in bad.

Beyond the simple fact of how it directly impacts their own business and reputation, companies have to think about the competitive landscape as well. There are far too many competitors, and rising consumer expectations to let customer service fall by the wayside.

At Egnyte, it is our priority to understand our customers’ core challenges, anticipate their needs, and do our best to accommodate them when things do go awry. We’ve worked hard to meet the varying demands of our customers and it’s no surprise that we’re recognized as a leader in numerous reports from Gartner, Forrester, and Ovum. We’ve even been highlighted in some as having the best customer service in our industry. As you can imagine, that is one of the biggest reasons we continue to find success.

Even though your organization may face challenges, delivering good customer service should be the ultimate goal. While we all have our own ideas of what good customer service is, businesses that adopt the old adage “the customer is always right” go out of their way to prove their commitment by efficiently resolving any issues customers may have.

What are some of the best practices you recommend that help your business deliver the top flight customer service?