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Customer Service: Cutting corners vs. Immersing you in the lap of luxury

Customer Service: Cutting corners vs. Immersing you in the lap of luxury

Earlier this year, my family and I took an international trip to Spain. Quick props to Spain, it’s a beautiful country with very hospitable people, spectacular wines and mouth-watering food.

Our choice airlines for flying to Europe have been American Airlines (AA) and British Airways (BA). We took this trip on BA. As a rule of thumb, when we travel overseas we fly in business class, because of my surgically repaired back. It is with great disappointment I have to confess that the flying experience on both these airlines continues to trend downward on every flight we take.

On our trip back home, I sat next to a woman from Canada who retired from BA after 30 years of service. She said she was appalled at how far the service has fallen at the airline. She said customer service at BA took a turn for the worse soon after BA entered the “One World” alliance spearheaded by AA. BA embraced the corporate culture of its American counterpart and followed down the path of AA’s “corporate mantra” of cutting costs to bulk up the balance sheet for Wall Street. She said this was akin to an established deli riding on the success of its roast-beef sandwich, then doing an about-face and removing the roast-beef from the sandwich.  

Since I talk about customer service in these posts, I will not get into all the details but let me offer a few anecdotes concerning food: when you fly in “business class” on a trans-Atlantic flight, you don’t expect to be served mixed nuts in a bag; and when the in-flight-menu says your choice of dessert is an assortment of fresh fruits, you don’t expect the flight attendant to hand you an unpeeled banana or orange.

The above experience is a sharp contrast from our travels to Asia. We fly to Asia on Emirates. As a “business class” customer you are picked up to-and-from the airport from the city you depart and arrive in chauffer driven luxury cars. If you choose to stop-over in Dubai, the transportation is covered there, too. Though BA has lounges that are lounges in name-only for its transiting passengers, the lounges of Emirates will blow the airlines mentioned above out of water. While AA and BA are scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of in-flight amenities and comfort for its customers, Emirates is providing mattresses for a good night’s rest, Bvlgari vanity bags along with dining comparable to Michelin-Star restaurants, at prices averaging 40-50% lower than AA or BA.

AA and BA complain that Emirates and its peers enjoy patronage from their governments. That might be true, but so have they, and for a much longer time, too. They know the elephant in the room but just choose to ignore it. Every time a business puts profit - where the top executives laugh all the way to the bank, and the rank-and-file are cut out of the spoils - ahead of service, they lose every time. They might convince themselves that their strategy is correct but the moment the customers have a choice they will bolt and never return.

Home Advisor and Angie’s List are the AA and BA in our space. And may we humbly suggest we, housspros.com, are the Emirates in the online home repair space. Because just like Emirates, we’re an upstart company that values customer service. As a matter of fact our motto is: service before profit.  It is for this reason; we will never nickel and dime the users of our website. Registered users of our website will have access to the entire suite of utilities that will assist them in their decision making process, for free. The big websites, mentioned above provide some utilities, unfortunately, though; they are all rigged to make money for those websites.

Image Source: Emirates



Last Updated: 2017-10-26 19:44:37

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