July 15, 2009

United Breaks Guitars, but Fixes Public Relations

Many of you may have heard this story, and over 500,000 have seen the video: a musician flew United, had his guitar wrecked in transit, and when he appealed for recompense, he got none.

So he wrote a song. And now is getting more than just an apology from United.

He’s getting his 15 minutes of fame. Talk about turning lemons into vodka with lemonade.

And United, a dear old client of ours, is seemingly trying to do the same.

United’s spokesperson is quoted on as saying the video complaint ‘struck a chord…’, pun intended to be sure. They are promising to ‘make things right’ at long last.

And now customer relations is quoted as asking for the video to help improve customer service.

Empathy. And apology.

Sad that in this day and age it comes AFTER the negative publicity and not as a core value, but there seem to be many reasons why customer experience comes last in a popular drive to deliver such inexpensive product (think about it — sometimes your cab fare to the airport is half the cost of your airline ticket.)

Anyway, a positive, creative solution to a problem. And kudos to United to not fighting it, but riding it.