Why Customer Service is Essential to Every Business: Southwest Airlines Fiasco Reports Scottsdale Reputation Management Firm
Scottsdale reputation management firm JW Maxx Solutions highlights a common situation that many social media users need to be aware of. There are certain times when posting is appropriate, and there are other times when it’s better to stay silent on the subject matter.
Southwest Airlines shared an incident that occurred earlier this month on July 17, and has been brought back into the media spotlight. When one Minneapolis man was preparing to board his flight, he had an encounter with one of the staff members and decided to write about the incident on Twitter.
Upon the staff at Denver International Airport discovered what the man had written, he and his family were asked to de-board the plane. The tweet read as follows:
“Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S gate C39, not happy @SWA”
The reputation experts at Reputation Maxx reveal that this man was not simply reprimanded for sharing his opinion. The agent mentioned that she felt threatened, and was asked to delete the tweet before he could get on the plane. The police were even possibly going to be involved all because of one Twitter post. After this occurred, the man ended up deleting his tweet and boarded the flight after all. Later, another message from the man, Duff Watson (@DuffWatson) appeared on Twitter and said:“@SouthwestAir Wow. Just wow with the response I just received from SW. ‘We apologize that you were asked to deplane after boarding.’ Really?”
After this incident, Southwest Airlines apologized to the family about the situation via email, and was also offered a $50 voucher for each member of the Watson family. But Watson stated he vows to never use Southwest Airlines services again.
The reputation experts at Scottsdale Reputation Management Firm share that the Southwest Airlines agent should have handled the situation differently. In today’s media-influenced and internet obsessed culture, many have the courage to say all kind of things online. Instead of brushing off the tweet (which truly didn’t have any type of threat to it) the staff made this valued customer feel as if he was a criminal for simply sharing his experience and feelings.
Not only did the staff lose a valued customer, but thanks to the incident, Southwest Airlines has to deal with the viral consequences. The awful customer service story is all has been all over the news and continues to be a trending topic. This tweet incident serves as another example of how reading too much into to what is said on social media accounts can permanently damage a company’s reputation.