I wouldn't know, sir

 Photo by sinartus.com

Photo by sinartus.com

The other day as I walked into a well-known international airline office to reserve our family seats for an upcoming international flight, I asked the customer representative whether the flights that we will be on will have electrical outlets.

“I wouldn’t know, sir.”

Why wouldn’t she know? She dresses as part of the organization. She is one of the many people who are on the front line dealing directly with the customers who are the sole reason why this airline exists. Surely it would not be difficult for the airline to brief their customer service representatives on the basic offerings of their airlines, especially when it’s being promoted on the company’s website.

I know from experience that the offerings on flights will depend on the aircraft model and type. Sometimes you get lucky and land a seat on the latest aircraft, offering the latest amenities, and sometimes you end up on an older one, a throwback to the 1990s. I would not have been disappointed to hear from her that the flights that I booked my family were the latter; that’s just life. However, I was taken back that the representative not only did not know but didn’t seem to care that I asked.

I believe consumers are no longer ignorant, especially those who fall within the top 20%. The promises that brands put forth in their marketing outputs are a direct challenge for the brands themselves. If you are a passenger who was seduced by beautiful photographs on the website showing personal screens and electrical outlets only to come onboard and find herself on an older plane with no personal entertainment unit and no place to charge your laptop, how would you feel?

It’s one thing to over promise and hope that most passengers who care land on your new aircraft but it’s another to not train and equipped your customers to know your products and services.