Beth Schultz

Flying Home Lands Customer Experience Lesson

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BethSchultz
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Re: Value of the human factor
BethSchultz   4/1/2014 11:30:56 AM
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Lyndon, I have the good fortune of being able to work from home, so don't routinely take public transportation. Back in the day when I did take the "L" to and from work daily, I do recall often feeling like I was in auto-pilot mode. So maybe that is exactly the future public transportation envisions. ;-)

 

Lyndon_Henry
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Value of the human factor
Lyndon_Henry   4/1/2014 10:45:03 AM
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..

Beth writes


 

...And there are times when the algorithms and automated decision making and rigid processes will go unnoticed, because they make things happen like clockwork. But when those fail -- scheduling near-impossible turnaround times, for example -- the way the traveler perceives the experience will be through the airline employees, not its systems. People are going to make a bad experience good or a good experience better.


 

Well put. But the relevance of human interaction seems to be valued less and less by airlines and transportation providers. I've commented before on the ways that being able to interact with bus drivers and train motomen or ticket agents has quickly and efficiently solved problems for me, and for other pasengers. But the public transportation industry persists in its dedication to trying to "robotize" everything and eliminate all involvement by humans. Maybe they think that future passengers will themselves be robots?

 

BethSchultz
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Re: Data didn't help
BethSchultz   4/1/2014 8:28:19 AM
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@Maryam, I wonder what our atuomated travel reservation system would happen if I passed on a flight with a 30-minute layover time that was priced substantially less than the next best alternative. I would guess I'd be kicked into a manual process, and have to plead my case with the company's travel approver. I'll let you know if that ever happens!

Maryam@Impact
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Re: Data didn't help
Maryam@Impact   3/31/2014 7:29:03 PM
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Beth I have never heard of them factoring distance between gates. In fact in my road warrior days I had maps of the airports that I would reference when travelling with connected flights. There were some airports that were just impossible to connect in less than two hours because flight was often in other terminals. DFW and Hartsfield were both famous for arduous delays. I don't think I have ever left either airport on time! I don't think the software used to book travel takes connections in mind. I just booked a flight and it was offering me a 30 minute transfer in a large spread out airport. Luckily, I passed on that one.

 

BethSchultz
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Re: Data didn't help
BethSchultz   3/31/2014 3:06:49 PM
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Eeesh! That is a nightmare if ever I heard one! I would love to know if airline recommendation algorithms factor in distance of arrival and departure gates for the flights they serve up. I know gates often change, but I don't think substantially. In other words, this flight at this time between Chicago and LA is this type of plane departing from this set of gates. Given the usual sense of panic of people on flights trying to get off planes and over to their next gate, I'm guessing the engines don't take gate potential as a variable (or if they do, not very effectively!)

Maryam@Impact
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Data didn't help
Maryam@Impact   3/31/2014 2:53:24 PM
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Beth yes I too have been burned on business and personal trips by data gone wrong. Last year after the crash at San Francisco airport I was stuck trying to get back t the East coast a well meaning agent booked  me on  flight with a razor thin connection they gave away my seats because they thought I was a no show when my plane hadn't actually arrived yet. Then they forced me to travel between two terminals at LAX on foot 3 times to get mean a partner flight to an alternative airport. It was a long and harrowing day. Sadly the airlines did very little to address the problem.

 

In your case the app should have not allowed a connection time of less than an hour.

rbaz
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Re: Best thing about living in Chicago
rbaz   3/31/2014 1:09:28 PM
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ChapAnjou, it comes down to who has the upper hand or clout between the cost controllers in operations and the customer service promoters in the organization at that point in time. Sadly, the cost guys have an easier path to argue their point because residual gains from random perks is nearly impossible to quantify. Especially at times of esterity and budget pressures.

chapAnjou
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Re: Best thing about living in Chicago
chapAnjou   3/31/2014 12:58:48 PM
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@Broadway,

 

I'm sure they have some kind of official policy that comps those little things.  At the end of the day, they money they're "giving away" in free tiny bottles of cheap booze will easily be offset by repeat customers.

chapAnjou
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Re: Best thing about living in Chicago
chapAnjou   3/31/2014 12:57:08 PM
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@Phoenix,

Wow your story is terrible.  Good job on Lufthansa to get their customer's back, though! Hopefully that kind of stuff isn't still going on, though.

chapAnjou
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Re: Best thing about living in Chicago
chapAnjou   3/31/2014 12:53:35 PM
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@rbaz,

Unfortunately I have to agree with you on this one.  A lot of times an employee doing someone a favor is done at the expense of the company they're doing it for (giving a discount, comping a room, etc.).  I just wish companies would look past the short term effect and focus on the fact that these kinds of gestures are what make people choose one indistinguishable company from another.

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