May 19, 2017
Recently, United Airlines had a paying customer dragged off of an airplane because he refused to give up his seat for an $800 voucher. The incident went viral, and within a month--after United's stock had plunged in value, after a number of other incidents were publicized by the media (including a suspicious death of a rabbit), and after their reputation had suffered serious damage--they settled a lawsuit with the man for an "undisclosed amount" which was likely in the millions if not tens of millions of dollars.
The irony is that nearly a decade ago, United Airlines experienced a similar situation related to a broken guitar that similarly resulted in damage to their brand that was far, far greater than the amount of money it would have taken to fix the problem in the first place.
What lessons can small businesses learn from this situation? Why do some small business owners, like United Airlines, not seem to be able to learn from incidents like this? Listen to this episode to get answers to these questions, and also hear a positive story about how one local small business owner handled a customer service issue correctly.