The customers are the major source of profit for any business. To succeed, the company should care for its clients. Besides, it is not only the question of expanding the customer base and search of potential customers but also the maintenance of the loyalty of the existing ones.
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However, sometimes the bad experience in servicing customers can be turned in favor of the business. There is a famous statement: “Your most unhappy customer can be your greatest asset.” I guess it can be so. Last year I was in a situation when Qatar Airways, one of the major air passengers’ carriers in the region, delayed the night flight New York-Doha for seven hours without any reasonable explanation.
I had to spend all night at the airport waiting for the response from the representatives of the airways. The airport did not explain anything blaming only the airways for the delay. Around 4 a.m. the passengers were finally notified of the boarding. I should say that I and the other passengers were extremely nervous and tired of waiting at the airport all night. Besides, many of us had to go to work or college in the morning or had some other plans. Frankly speaking, we were not only late but were not, essentially, able to do something.
However, the airways managed to turn the situation in its favor. The first action it undertook was to provide us with food and beverages. Then, the airways had an arrangement with a certain network of restaurants at the airport. The representatives of the airways contacted the network as soon as possible and agreed to pay for the 50% discount for any dish ordered by us during the flight delay period. A lot of passengers took advantage of the opportunity.
The chairs and the whole atmosphere at the restaurant were much more comfortable than in the waiting room. Moreover, the company reimbursed the full value of the ticket price and publicly apologized for the inconvenience. After a couple of days, the passengers knew that after the debates with the airport, the airways proved its guiltlessness in the accident. It was the technical fault of the airport specialists, which led to the delay. The airport was charged to reimburse the amounts spent by the airways.
I think the fast reaction of Qatar Airways to the situation helped it to position itself as the reliable provider of the airways services as well as the company taking care of its customers. Undoubtedly, the actions of the company helped it to increase the customers’ loyalty. It can be said that the inconvenience caused to the customers by the airport was smartly used by the airways to support its image.