Tuesday, August 16, 2011

if you have a problem or question, send Air Canada a fax...

I thought the 2000s would be the angry decade however, it turned out to be more confused than irritated. Although, I often noticed an under current, although it might have been just me, well on the path to a curmudgeon. However, sitting here at the airport, having arrived at 3 o'clock for my 6 o'clock flight, to find that it has been cancelled and that I am now flying at 8:30, I wonder if there might not be some eruptions in 2010s.If so, Air Canada is well positioned. There is not a single AC person at the airport who can adequately explain or make restitution for the cancelled flight. Not Andrea 005371. Instead, I can fax Air Canada, and someone will respond. Not email, on the cusp of 2010, and not a phone call, no way. Fax.Brilliant.What a terrific way to deflect an irate passenger. If you disagree with this, please send me a fax....in 1993.

My recommendation-

If you are going to insulate yourself from your customers and be inaccessible, then you need to buffer your front line staff, as they will bear the brunt of your customers’ displeasure. In the 1900s, businesses started to empower their employees. In this particular instance, the front line really only needs to be empowered to disclose whatever information is available. The news had already been in the press that there was some situation involving a bomb on a flight coming in to the U.S. The upheaval that this created turned out to be far reaching but, at the time, it meant that the plane for our 6 o’clock flight was not likely getting in until 10:15. We were instead put on to the 8:30 flight.
An information burst could be sent to each terminal.
If keeping your front line staff informed is too scary a concept, then certainly the on site manager, “Andrea 005371” should be empowered with some information. It is not likely to defuse the situation when an on site manager says to a customer, “I am going to stop talking to you now”, which is (paraphrased) what Andrea 005371 said to me.

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