Customer Experience News & Trends

Case study in poor customer service: Why you don’t go back on your word

Under-promise, over-deliver: A recipe for service success. Make a promise and take it away: A recipe for service disaster. Here’s one company that did it.

Customers recently raked USAirways over the coals for giving them a small perk one day and taking it away the next day – and it’s a good lesson in what NOT to do. Customers ranted on consumer sites and in social media.

The airline sent an email to many loyalty plan members, explaining they deposited 1,000 miles into their frequent flier accounts just to make them smile (and fly, of course).

The next day, another email was sent to most of the same customers, saying the original message was sent in error. USAirways took back the miles it had promised.

Why this is a big mistake: Customers are more disappointed by a promise made and unfulfilled than a promise never made. They feel cheated.

Better bet: Contact center agents want to continue to under-promise and over-deliver. And if errors happen, they should be corrected in customers’ favor.

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