A travel story that could have turned 100 plus tired and frustrated customers into a nightmare for Southwest Airlines. Blogging, emailing, 1-2-1’s throughout the week on how bad their service is/was…all turned around by an email that was there in the morning before I could go viral.


From: Ed Stillman [mailto:ed.stillman@vistage.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2011 8:44 PM
To: ‘Ed Stillman’
Subject: FW: Your February 28 Flight

In flying back from San Diego on Monday afternoon, Southwest Airlines had a mechanical and we had to change planes. Arrived home after midnight and found the below email in my inbox when I woke up Tuesday morning. Look at the department… Proactive Customer Service Communications. Before I could tell my return travel story to a dozen or more connections this week, I’m telling everyone how great Southwest Airlines customer service is? 

As it turned out the voucher was for $100 on a $400 ticket, yet I don’t think as a customer it’s the value of the voucher as much as it is the promptness and attitude this carrier has towards it customer. I have a choice in flying and my sense is so do your customers have a choice with your product or service?


—– Original Message —–
From: Southwest Airlines Proactive Communications
Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2011 4:59 PM
Subject: Your February 28 Flight


Greetings from Southwest Airlines:

On behalf of Southwest Airlines, I wholeheartedly apologize for the delayed departure of your February 28 flight from San Diego. Disruptions are frustrating and I’m very sorry for any subsequent inconvenience to your plans yesterday. Naturally, we want to provide you with a better travel experience. In this spirit, I’m sending a LUV Voucher* (separately, but to the same e-mail address) as a gesture of goodwill that can be applied toward the purchase of a future Southwest reservation. I hope you will give us another opportunity to provide you with timelier trips—you can be sure that we are looking forward to seeing you again real soon.


Adrienne Yurdyga

**Your Southwest Airlines LUV Voucher will arrive within the next seven days to this same e-mail address. Please adjust your spam blockers/filters to enable your computer to receive this voucher.

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This e-mail message and all attachments transmitted with it may contain legally privileged and confidential information intended solely for the use of the addressee. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any reading, dissemination, distribution, copying, or other use of this message or its attachments is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete this message from your system. Thank you.

One thought on “How do your Customers rate your Customer Service?

  1. Something we in marketing are always considering and yet it’s hard to know the answer. Social media is an amazing real-time test for that. I also just learned about a new term “Customer effort” as a metric for how well you are doing during the customer experience verses “customer satisfaction” which is measuring only after the fact.

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