How do your Customers rate your Customer Service?

A travel story that could have turned 100 plus tired and frustrated customers into a nightmare for Southwest Airlines. Blogging, emailing, 1-2-1’s throughout the week on how bad their service is/was…all turned around by an email that was there in the morning before I could go viral.


From: Ed Stillman []
Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2011 8:44 PM
To: ‘Ed Stillman’
Subject: FW: Your February 28 Flight

In flying back from San Diego on Monday afternoon, Southwest Airlines had a mechanical and we had to change planes. Arrived home after midnight and found the below email in my inbox when I woke up Tuesday morning. Look at the department… Proactive Customer Service Communications. Before I could tell my return travel story to a dozen or more connections this week, I’m telling everyone how great Southwest Airlines customer service is? 

As it turned out the voucher was for $100 on a $400 ticket, yet I don’t think as a customer it’s the value of the voucher as much as it is the promptness and attitude this carrier has towards it customer. I have a choice in flying and my sense is so do your customers have a choice with your product or service?


—– Original Message —–
From: Southwest Airlines Proactive Communications
Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2011 4:59 PM
Subject: Your February 28 Flight


Greetings from Southwest Airlines:

On behalf of Southwest Airlines, I wholeheartedly apologize for the delayed departure of your February 28 flight from San Diego. Disruptions are frustrating and I’m very sorry for any subsequent inconvenience to your plans yesterday. Naturally, we want to provide you with a better travel experience. In this spirit, I’m sending a LUV Voucher* (separately, but to the same e-mail address) as a gesture of goodwill that can be applied toward the purchase of a future Southwest reservation. I hope you will give us another opportunity to provide you with timelier trips—you can be sure that we are looking forward to seeing you again real soon.


Adrienne Yurdyga

**Your Southwest Airlines LUV Voucher will arrive within the next seven days to this same e-mail address. Please adjust your spam blockers/filters to enable your computer to receive this voucher.

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Published by edstillman

I grew up in Carlsbad, north San Diego County, lost my dad as a teenager, went into the USAF for four years and hired on with 3M in 1969. Received my AA from Santa Barbara City College, BA and Masters from Redlands University and after 33 plus years, I retired from 3M in 2002. As I look back on my life, I have been creating myself and developing my skill sets to be a business coach and a Vistage Chair. I am president of SEOT, a "personal improvement" consulting firm spending most of my time working with Central Texas executives running small to medium size for-profit companies who are focusing on improving their profitability greater than their competition. My area of interest is assisting senior executives in creating a better balance between business commitments and personal relationships. I also facilatate three leadership labs each consisting of a dozen owners, presidents and CEOs. We meet monthly both in a group setting as well as in a 1-to-1 coaching session. Our focus is to sharpen each others' skills in becoming better leaders, making better decisions and taking ourselves and companies to that next level. Who are we? My members are experienced top executives who recognize that they don’t have all the answers and who actively seek the company of successful peers—both to give and receive insights and ideas. My members mine the 200 plus years of chief executive experience that comes together in our monthly meetings and members are eager to offer their own experience and insights in the process. As a group, we spend our time exploring topics members can't discuss anywhere else. My members have many other places where they can engage in idle, "cocktail party" chatter. Our mission is to provide the setting for discussing the "undiscussable." Where or who can you go to for confidential, honest feedback to assist you in minimizing your personal "Worry List"?

One thought on “How do your Customers rate your Customer Service?

  1. Something we in marketing are always considering and yet it’s hard to know the answer. Social media is an amazing real-time test for that. I also just learned about a new term “Customer effort” as a metric for how well you are doing during the customer experience verses “customer satisfaction” which is measuring only after the fact.

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