United Airlines gives the transportation services in America and most particularly in the areas of Northern America, Latin America, Asia Pacific as well as Middle East (Craft, 2018). The transportation is open for the people as well as for taking the cargo from one destination to other through the major and the regional operations. In 2017, this service operated with the convoy of 2160 planes and 4200 flights approximately each day. This convoy went on to the 336 airports in total across the five continents. United Airlines also deals in supplying the fuel and also gives services like ground handling and catering.
The maintenance of the services of third parties is also one of the services that United Airlines offer. The company started in 1934 and its headquarters are situated in Chicago, Illinois (United, 2018). The firm has been dealing with multiple numbers of public customer service situations failures in recent few years. The loyal consumers have been hurt and threatened. In addition to this, a few people and also some pets are abused in past. However, the biggest of all the incidents happened in April, 2017 when a loyal passenger was dragged as the flight was overbooked. This was a huge mistake done by the firm. The report discusses about this service failure act and on the basis of the analysis, it recommends the strategies of recovery with some of good recommendations for United Airlines.
On 9th April, 2017, a firm named United Airlines in total conscience decided to bump 4 of the fellow passengers in one of the flights which was flying from O’Hare International to Louisville Airport. There was a mishap of overbooking the flight done before the flight was about to fly. Yet, there was no action taken on it and the passengers’ on boarded the flight. The primary goal was to make rooms for the extra people in the flight. As the flight could not take any extra weight, they tried to compensate with the fellow passengers by providing them $400 as the compensation in the form of vouchers (Bankova, 2018).
At first when they were not able to convince people, they doubled the amount of the vouchers. Still they failed in convincing the passengers and found no takers of the compensation. Therefore, 4 of the passengers were bumped from the flight but those passengers were not ready voluntarily. Three passengers after pursuing hard got ready to get off the plane and book a new one yet one passenger (Mr. Dao) did not agree. Mr. David Dao who was from Louisville refused completely as he had to reach to the hospitals at work the next morning and that was the last flight which was flying to Louisville that night (Mostert & Rensburg, 2011). Hence, the security staff of the firm was called and Dao had to struggle a lot while he was being abused but finally gave in and get off the plane.
He was abused so hard that there was blood coming out of the mouth and he also became unconscious for a while. There were videos and pictures put on the internet of this incident shaming the brand of doing such a misdeed with its customer. Oscar Munoz, who was the CEO of the firm, claimed that the passenger was aggressive and was disturbing everyone in flight. Yet after so many trolls on the brand, he realized his mistake and agreed that this mistake will never happen again in their flight services.
Service Recovery Strategy and Recommendation
Service Failure recovery is referred as the action that is taken by any companies when they have or have been facing the failure issues in providing good services to their consumers (Díaz, 2017). According to Bitner in 1990 and Hoffman in 1998, there are three types of service failures.
- Implicit and explicit customer requests: This takes place when the feedbacks or any of the requests of the consumers are not being acted upon as per their requirements. For Example: the seating section located in the smoking area is also made open for the non smokers or the reserved customers are not been given the priority etc.
- Service System Failure: This failure can happen in the basic services of any company like there are defects found in the products such as food is very cold or the service is slow or the facilities given to the customer is very unfriendly etc(Lee, 2018).
- Unsolicited Actions of Employees: This type is very common in which the employees of the firm behaves badly with the customers and display their rudeness and wrong deliveries to them. United Airlines is the best example of this category of service failure.
Some of the recovery strategies are there which any firm such as United Airlines can use for recovering from the failures. They are as follows:
- In case the company wants to understand its customers, there have been studies made that 95% of the customers never return if they have had a poor experience with the services they have taken from any firm. Only 3% of the customers take out time to submit a complaint for the services they tried(Koc, 2017). United Airlines can use the strategy in being open for the feedbacks given by their customers. This way the customers would genuinely be interested in taking their services and reviewing them. The research says that in case if the company works according to the customers once it has received the complaint, 70% customers would always be ready to try the services again.
- It is known that the complaint filed by the consumers should be taken as a gift and not in the negative manner. All the complaints must be managed and monitored because customers never complaint unless they have had a very poor experience with the firm. The firm can also take out time to respond online with the few of the complaints lodged by the customers. The confessions from the firm coming online are a very big deal for the loyal customers (Sumaco & Hussain, 2011).
- A communication gap can create nuisance in anybody’s life. Same goes with the firms’ relationship with the customers as well. The best way to recover from any service failure is to communicate efficiently with the customers. Communication is necessary especially when the firm has done a mistake in providing he services to their customers. The firm should not hesitate in apologizing in public(Gichira et al., 2015).
- The firms like United Airlines must take care of the number of seats which are allocated to their passengers before the flight takes off. This way there would be no misunderstanding in delivering the services to all the passengers who have bought the tickets. United Airlines had to bump 4 passengers which if seen from the service failure prospect, was big number (Ray et al., 2018).
- This phrase “customer comes first” is known to everyone. Therefore, bad behaviour with any of the customers is not at all tolerated when it comes to ethics of any work. Mr. Dao was not just a victim of bad behaviour but also was abused and harassed. He was a very loyal customer of this brand or firm yet he was no more spared. Hence, no matter what happens, United Airlines must make sure that their customers are not even given a single chance to feel bad or abused.
The report emphasizes on the company names as United Airlines which was founded in the year 1934 in Chicago. This firm has been working since decades now but last year, due to an incident, the company lost its entire good image in the market. Due to the overbooking of flight seats, 4 of the passengers were bumped and when they were not ready, they were abused and harassed too. Due to this service failure, this case became so viral that all the customers of United Airlines could not trust their services yet again. The case study analysis of the complete incident is discussed in detail in the report. When a firm is involved in any of such service failures, there are always some of the recovery strategies which can be used by the firm to get out of it. Those strategies are mentioned in the report which is followed by few recommendations that can be opting by firm like United Airlines.
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