We’ve all been on the receiving end of poor customer experience. Oftentimes, we will take it on the chin and simply vote with our feet the next time we seek the same product or service. On some occasions, we will submit a complaint, which may or may not be dealt with accordingly. Other times, however, poor customer experience leaves behind evidence that is simply too valuable not to share.
Indeed, in our ever more connected world, consumers possess a lot more power than they used to. A bad customer experience makes for a great story and, particularly when there is audio or video content involved, can spread online like a cold in a kindergarten.
With this in mind, here are two examples of what can happen when a company is responsible for an epic customer fail, and that customer – or a witness – decides to take the matter into their own hands.
The Broadway Hotel
In 2014, Tony and Jan Jenkinson stayed for one night at the Broadway Hotel in Blackpool, England. Disgusted with the state of the room and the premises, the couple left a scathing review on TripAdvisor that concluded with: “If you are offered this place to stay for a fortnight for 10p, you are being robbed!! STAY AWAY!!!”
While the Jenkinsons’ vacation had been a far cry from what they had bargained for, their bad customer experience had only begun. A number of days later, the couple realised that £100 had been charged to their credit card, which the BBC later reported was the result of the hotel’s policy in the event of a “bad” review. The Broadway Hotel claimed that all customers are shown terms and conditions on their booking form, which states: “Despite the fact that repeat customers and couples love our hotel, your friends and family may not. For every bad review left on any website, the group organiser will be charged a maximum £100 per review.”
After the story went viral and the Jenkinsons appeared on national television describing their experience, the Broadway Hotel refunded the money and cancelled its policy. With 142 Google reviews averaging one star to its name, the Broadway Hotel is now listed online as being closed.
Unless you were experiencing a media blackout in your place of residence back in April 2017, you’ll most likely have come across video footage of Kentucky doctor David Dao being forcibly dragged off a United Airlines flight by airline law enforcement officers after refusing to give up his seat. The airline had asked Dr Dao to leave the aircraft in order to allow four United staff members to get from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky after the flight was overbooked.
After refusing the request, stating that he had patient commitments the following day, Dr Dao suffered a concussion, a broken nose, and lost his two front teeth after United staff took a heavy-handed approach to his removal. Needless to say, after a fellow passenger shot and shared a video of the bleeding doctor, it went viral and sparked international outrage. At the time, Dr Dao’s lawyer, Thomas Demetrio, said his client had become “the unintended champion for the adoption of changes which will certainly help improve the lives of literally millions of travellers”.
In terms of bad CX, it doesn’t get much worse. Weeks after the incident Dr Dao received an undisclosed financial settlement from the airline but the fallout didn’t end there. Last year, Chicago Aviation Police officer James Long – one of the officers involved in dragging Dr Dao from the flight – filed a lawsuit against the airline claiming that the incident resulted in him being unfairly terminated from his job.
The above are examples of how not to deliver a beautiful customer experience, but here are five examples of how you can. If you enjoyed this post, you might be interested to read six steps to solving your customer’s problem. Want the right partner with whom to deliver beautiful customer experience? Give us a shout.