Saturday, March 27, 2010

"Do I look like someone who is here to help you?" United O’Hare counter staff disappoints

Mike was waiting for his flight from Chicago to Detroit. It had been a long day for him. He had been working in Minneapolis earlier in the day and this was his last leg home.

He noticed on the board that his gate had been changed from 30 to 28. Knowing that there are sometimes mistakes he walked up to a uniformed United gate person who was standing at the counter. “Hi, is the flight to Detroit now leaving from 28?” “Do I look like someone who is here to help you?” she barked. “Er, well, yes, you are at the counter in uniform.” he replied. “This counter is closed.” was the last thing she said to him.

Mike walked over to another uniformed gate person to ask the same question. Her reply was “Just look at the board.” and she was done talking to him, too.

Mike was astounded that he would be treated so badly. He vowed to never fly United again. I can’t blame him. There is no excuse for the treatment he received. “Do I look like someone who is here to help you?” May be one of the most outrageous statements I have ever heard from a customer service person.

I know that the gate personnel are not richly compensated, but with attitudes like the ones Mike encountered, I think that they need to find new work — somewhere far away from customers.


Joseph Rosales said...

Very interesting and what a great blog. Please check out our website for more information on sales and service coaching as well.

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach said...

The very idea that anyone would say "Do I look like someone who is here to help you?" is incredibly insensitive. Agents in uniform, collecting paychecks, and insulting others.
I have zero tolerance for this when I am a customer and work tirelessly in teaching CSRs to do just the opposite of the United reps.
Here's a post with lessons learned:
25 Worst Customer Service Stories to Train the Best CSRs

Thanks for this post Laurie -- I will RT it on Twitter so others can experience it!
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach