Herb Kelleher and Your Customer Service Lesson

Herb Kelleher and Your Customer Service Lesson

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herb kelleher...southwest airlines - Kenneth Holland

Herb Kelleher’s life can teach us many things when it comes to business. But NONE more important than this…

He didn’t lack panache and he didn’t lack being a pioneer.

Herb Kelleher wanted to turn the airline industry upside down by offering low cost fares with a minimum of frills.

Southwest Airlines was born.

But what seems to get lost…especially in this day and age…was carrier’s obsession with customer service. Oh, I have absolutely no proof they were obsessed, but I nonetheless know that they were.

How?

Simple: My own experience with the airline.

Even though I haven’t flown Southwest much in recent years (I’m in Dallas so I do a lot of American) I used to in the 80’s and 90’s. They had hands down the best customer service. They were friendly, helpful and always aimed to make your flying experience as good as it could be. I can’t tell you how many times they wouldn’t change me for drinks, for example.

So where do you think this comes from? It’s company culture. And that my future aspiring Kensters came from Herb Kelleher.

This is precisely why I’m so frustrated with the state of customer service in today’s commerce environment.

I cannot count anymore the number of companies I have dealt with that have horrid customer service. And the most glaring misstep is lack of communication. They simply refuse to answer you. I think it’s because the younger culture doesn’t think it’s important.

“Hey…if Kylie Jenner doesn’t do customer service than I don’t have to either.”

If you think that way, go right ahead with your bad self (as in actually ‘bad’). I’ll be here kicking your ass.

People have too many choices to take their business anywhere they want to. You think they’re going to waste their time taking it to you because you’re too busy playing Fortnite?

You want to play the big boy’s game? Grow up and learn to take care of your customers…or you won’t HAVE ANY.

And to Mr. Kelleher: Thank you.

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