As I write this I am sitting on a plane on my way to Knotts Berry Farm and Six Flags(Magic Mountain) in Southern California with 2 of my children. It occurs to me that the airline industry could learn a lot from the web hosting industry. How you might ask? By LISTENING to the customer!
The web hosting industry in my opinion is completely driven by the market. We do what YOU the customer wants. Those that can provide what the customer needs for a low and fair price thrive. Those that can’t fade into the sunset…
Let me give you an example of what I mean. A couple of months ago my wife and I were flying back to Salt Lake City from a short trip to Manhatten. We flew on Delta airlines who’s hub happens to be Salt Lake City. We were tired and wanted a little extra room. I inquired about upgrading to first class since they made an announcement that there were 5 seats still available. The person at the counter said that because we had “internet” tickets we paid too little and so had a “T” ticket which wasn’t upgradeable for the $100 price they had announced. I asked how I might obtain a different ticket so that we could upgrade to first class. They said I could pay an additional $430 per ticket and then pay the $100 per ticket on top of that to upgrade to first class.
I looked them straight in the eye and explained that I knew EXACTLY why Delta airlines is in bankruptcy. They simply don’t give the customer what they want. Anyone who flies Delta regularly knows their service is extremely poor on all fronts. It isn’t the fault of their employees either. The management doesn’t create an environment where customer service comes first. The employees of Delta are just as disgusted with their own company as most customers are. Compare that with low cost competitor South West Airlines and you can see why South West does so well. It isn’t all about cost. Its about service at a FAIR price.
Being the type of person to get what I want I found a work around to Delta’s poor service. I simply informed the flight attendant when I boarded the plane that I would like to give her $200 to split between her and her coworker for my wife and I to sit in the still unsold first class seats. She quickly obliged. The flight attendants received a little extra spending $$$, I got what I wanted, and the only ones hurt were the dingbats at Delta who set their ridiculous rules to anger the customer.
Businesses succeed when they listen to their customers. They flop when they don’t. We will always listen to what our customers have to say. This includes the good and the bad. We can’t be all things to all people, but we can always do better than where we are today!
Matt Heaton / Bluehost.com