Wednesday, June 20, 2012

United Addressing Customer Service issues through Competition?

One of the trending customer complaints for the newly merged United Airlines has been an assortment of poor customer service issues.  It appears that UA is attempting to address this through competitions and rewards:

United OutPerform Recognition program.

Behind every great trip is an airline of great people. Now, when you receive excellent customer service from an eligible United® or United Express® employee, you can nominate him or her in United’s Outperform Recognition Program. If the employee you nominate is a winner in our random drawing, you win, too. With just a few clicks on the United mobile app, you could have the chance to win award miles or even roundtrip tickets.
While the program is continued, eligible MileagePlus members can nominate up to five eligible employees per nomination period by using the United mobile app, available for Apple and Android devices.

While there's cash and incentives for the employees, there's also a small fish for MileagePlus members:

The two tickets come with some restrictions (90 day advanced purchase, some blackout dates etc.) and it doesn't appear that, on the International reward, that you could use the tickets and upgrade to F but still, that's a pretty good enticement.  Overall 16 people will win something, so your odds are not that great. 

A better thing is that this seems to be an on-going program.  Which is a good thing.  For all of the customer service nightmares that you see about UA of late there are still some employees who give really good service.  My hope is that Smilin' Jeff Smisek and the rest of the executive board don't treat this like a flash in the pan and give it the support and promotion among the employees that it deserves.

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