Category: INSIGHTS

What You Can Learn From United Airline’s Botched Crisis Response

It was the scream heard around the world: A 69-year-old doctor yanked out of his seat on an overbooked flight, manhandled, and dragged off the plane by the airport police. As is now the norm, passengers whipped out their cell phones and filmed the incident like good citizen reporters.

Within hours, United was confronting a public relations nightmare. The images shared on social media were red meat to consumers, primed by personal experience to have a negative opinion of airlines in general.

As with the recent Uber scandals, consumers threatened to boycott the company and delete their United App, according to MarketWatch. Then came CEO’s apology, for “having to re-accommodate these customers.” This apology is about a common airline practice, not one man’s shocking experience. The statement ignores his obvious injuries. For consumers, the issue is not the possibility of getting bumped, something frequent flyers have come to expect. The real fear is the possibility of getting abused, humiliated, and hauled off the plane.

What’s more, this treatment of an Asian physician taps into racial sensitivities, with some people wondering whether police would have been as rough on a Caucasian senior. An event this extreme calls for a filmed apology, with the CEO directly addressing the incident, and his customers.

What should United have done? The basic tenets of crisis management listed below can help you contain a crisis and even turn a loss into a win:

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What You Need to Know Today About The Future of Customer Experience

Don’t you wish marketing were as easy as waving a magic wand? Unfortunately, marketers must create their own magic to drive sales, raise awareness and generate qualified leads, in the face of ever changing customer needs and expectations.

In order to capture, cater to, and retain a customer’s interest, CMOs and entrepreneurs need to make it more rewarding to choose their company. In the words of Hilton Chief Marketing Officer Geraldine Calpin, “We have to get customers really engaged and addicted to what we as a brand stand for. The way you get brand loyalty, love and stickiness, is through world class hospitality and technology. Simple, beautiful, useful technology makes travel easier.”

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Try These 3 Tricks When Working With Difficult People

Growing up in an Italian-American household meant you had to watch The Godfather Parts I and II every time they came on television. My father, John Gambardella, couldn’t wait for Marlin Brando, a.k.a. Vito Corleone, to utter his infamous line: “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

While many of us dream of leadership being that easy, we all realize, sooner or later, motivating others to comply with our requests is more complicated than Brando makes it look.

Like it or not, dealing and communicating with difficult people comes with being a leader. Whether it’s the business partner who wants too much or the employee who alienates his or her co-workers–learning to win an unfair fight is a critical skill set we all must obtain.

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10 Tips From Travel Experts, Flight Attendants, and Other Frequent Fliers

For those of us who travel for work, we’ve come to expect that certain things are bound to go wrong from flight delays to long airport security lines and luggage mishaps.

To prepare for this article, I spoke to several expert travelers who clock in at least 25,000 miles or more each year for tips and tricks to make your trip more enjoyable.

On my last flight, I asked my flight attendants who didn’t want to be named if they had any tips.

Let’s just say, they had lots of suggestions for fliers including:

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What to Do When Your Company Is Attacked Online: Lessons from Chipotle, GM and Delta

Whoever said, “there is no such thing as bad press” was lying.

The Institute for Crisis Management tracked a total of 212,115 crisis stories in the news in 2015. Yet, only half of organizations have a crisis plan in place. For entrepreneurs, who are natural risk-takers – I would bet that number is even fewer.

A complaint on social media that goes viral can halt a company’s momentum, giving the competition the edge.

So how do you prepare for potential communication crises? Learn from the big brands like Chipotle, General Motors and Delta Airlines:

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How Retail Giant Tommy Hilfiger Changed His Business Model and Increase Sales by 150 Percent In One Year

From Ann Taylor to Anthropologie to Macy’s, retail sales are way down. There’s been a lot of theorizing about what’s behind this drastic downturn. The Internet is changing how we shop. Malls are losing

their anchor stores and shutting down. People are renting dressy clothes and wearing “athleisure” to work. Consumers are spending their hard-earned money on housewares, electronics, and travel. These are probably all contributing factors to the slump in brick-and-mortar sales.

Yet some brands, like Tommy Hilfiger, are thriving. In the first 24 hours following this year’s Spring fashion show in London, sales on tommy.com increased by more than 150 percent versus September 2016, the month the program was launched, according to the company.

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