In a few months, we’ve seen some pretty high-profile examples of awful customer service. With this latest atrocity from United Airlines, we wonder: Is customer service at an all-time low, or are these examples just more plentiful because everyone is posting them to social media sites?
The example I’m referring to is a customer service letter from the airline, which was generated with some sort of automation software. It reads:
Dear Mrs. [Redacted],
Thank you for letting us know about your recent experience with United Airlines. I apologize if our service did not meet your expectations, and appreciate you taking time to share your concerns.
Our goal is to provide a consistently reliable product and an exemplary level of customer service. Based on the events you describe, we did not meet this goal. Your comments regarding (SPECIFIC EVENT) will be used for coaching and training our employees.
To encourage you to fly with us again and as a tangible means of acknowledging your disappointment, enclosed is (SPECIFIC ITEM).
(CUSTOMER NAME), I ask that you allow us another opportunity to serve you, as we consider it our privilege to have you aboard.
It’s as if Batman forgot to wear his mask prior to embarking on some vigilantism.
Of course the user posted it to social media. Of course it was passed around. And of course internet outrage ensued. And it should. This is, as the Independent
called it, the “least sincere apology letter of all time
The egregious examples of bad customer service that have made the rounds on the internet lately could just be a product of a social media that amplifies these types of things. But it also amplifies examples of particularly good customer service—perhaps because they’re just so rare.
It’s a reminder that customer service isn’t isolated anymore. Customer service is, and will be for the foreseeable future, public relations.