Destroy brand trust at the speed of light
With smartphone video just a couple of clicks away for a witness, any service failure that looks bad on camera may be transmitted worldwide in a matter of minutes. When will companies realize that everyone now has a video camera on them, and that they can broadcast live on Facebook and Twitter within minutes?
If companies behave badly, the internet will call them out
United Airlines – also known as “United Breaks Guitars” – has leapt into a brand disaster of mythic proportions. The company forcefully remove a passenger – a paying customer sitting in his seat – from an overbooked flight. Around the world, people watched a video of the bloodied man being dragged down the aisle.
Internet crushes United Airline with #NewUnitedAirlinesMottos.
New cabin class
— AngryTraveller (@angrytrav) April 11, 2017
United airlines flight attendant
— Dadscoolkicks (@adzrianzz) April 12, 2017
United Lego passenger removal playset
— Patricia Duffer (@MWChihuahuas) April 13, 2017
The movie 300
— Happening Babua (@HappeningBabua) April 12, 2017
Customer service training video
— Panama Mian (@spall_ifti) April 12, 2017
— #MAGA in the 316 👍 (@mikeo159) April 11, 2017
— Ansheen Doparkasteen (@AneeshDhoparkaz) April 11, 2017
United Airline customer service
— Raw Story (@RawStory) April 11, 2017
United Airlines takes a beating on social media (CNN)
United Airlines finally apologizes
As the social-media backlash grew stronger, and more videos of the incident emerged, the company’s stock began to fall, dropping as much as 4 percent, with the company losing nearly $800 million in value at one point.
There’s nothing like the threat of angry shareholders to get a corporate CEO to offer an apology:
The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses from all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments, and one above all: my deepest apologies for what happened. Like you, I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard. No one should ever be mistreated this way.
I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right.
It’s never too late to do the right thing. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what’s broken so this never happens again. This will include a thorough review of crew movement, our policies for incentivizing volunteers in these situations, how we handle oversold situations and an examination of how we partner with airport authorities and local law enforcement. We’ll communicate the results of our review by April 30th.
I promise you we will do better.
Short URL & title:
Brand missteps in the social media spotlight — https://www.torbenrick.eu/t/r/xnw
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