I outlined my experiment design in my post last week, My Multichannel Customer Experience Experiment. Essentially, my experiment was designed to see how Delta Airlines would respond to a service compliment and a service complaint delivered over several channels. Here are the results of my “compliment” interaction:
Email: Not offered on the Delta.com website
Webchat: Not offered on the Delta.com website
Online web form: The form was easy to find and had four demographic/ID questions and nine “tell us about your experience questions.” I filled out the form, listed the gate-agent by name, wrote a brief compliment and explanation about my flying experience, and clicked submit. I then heard crickets chirping in the background. Nearly 24 hours later, not even an email auto-response with “thanks for submitting your comment” and no formal reply from Delta.
Twitter: I tweeted about the experience and used the @Delta and @DeltaAssist tags…more crickets. No response to the tweet.
Phone call: I called the number published on the website. 16 minutes and 27 seconds later, I was connected to a contact center agent. I told her, “I’d like to share a compliment with someone at Delta about a positive experience with a gate agent.” She told me to go to the website and fill out the online form. “No one that I can talk to about it?” I asked. “No, the form is the best way,” was the reply. She was nice and friendly and even walked me through how to find the form on the website, but that left little consolation after my lengthy wait.
So Delta…you didn’t do very well. The initial service during my travel was very good, but how about that last mile, that ability to get the experience to the finish line, and every other sports analogy about playing to the very last second of the game? Not good. And the interesting thing is that some of the items are simple, inexpensive fixes – an email autoresponder, an acknowledgment of my tweet – easy and cheap. Some, like support for chat and email, take some effort, but in the long run they don’t increase overall volume and will give customers choices!
So the next step is for me to repeat this process. Only this time it will be to share a complaint about a bad service experience while connecting on a flight through Atlanta. Let’s see if there is a difference in how Delta responds. Look for that post later this week.
Joe Staples — chief disappointed traveler officer