Firing clients

The gratitude and re-humanization that airline staff would feel would be 100 times more powerful than all of the lame morale programs trotted out by the airlines to try to fix their service. The airlines send a powerful message when they turn their cheek to such behavior: The lowest person that walks in here with $200 is more important to us that you, our ten-year employee.

Sure. Why not?

Seth Godin has a post today about people being rude and disrespectful to airline staff. His question is: Should companies "blacklist" bad clients?

Yes.

I mean ultimately it’s a question of how much long term benefit
(working with desirable, respectful clients) you are willing to trade
for cash right now. I would argue that in the long term, your workplace is a better place when you move on from clients that are disrespectful.

At Ripple we love our clients, and work damn hard to make them happy.
But we have let several go over the years. Fired them. Not because they
weren’t profitable or because they were financially burdensome, but
because they were disrespectful. Because they treated our staff like
servants, or lied to us, or in some way showed a pattern of
disrespecting our staff. In the long term the cost of keeping clients
like that is much higher than letting them go. The hidden cost of
having a staff that cringe every time the phone rings is higher than I
think most people realize.

Companies need to enforce a level of respect and dignity with
customers. An airline should not tolerate abusive fliers and they
should in fact, blacklist them. They make the airline staff and all of
the other passengers uncomfortable, and they lower the bar for the rest
of us. The entire culture of flying is degraded by the "entitled"
flier. The abusive flier.

Now, don’t get me wrong. The American airline industry is
broken, the service is among the worst in the world, and it’s
frustrating. I have done more than my share of complaining about it.
But every business needs to draw the line at personal attacks. If the
airlines started banning certain customers, they would send a powerful
message to their own people: You matter. We expect the highest level of
service and commitment from you, and you’ll get respect in return. The
gratitude and re-humanization that airline staff would feel would be
100 times more powerful than all of the lame morale programs trotted
out by the airlines to try to fix their service. The airlines send a
powerful message when they turn their cheek to such behavior: The
lowest person that walks in here with $200 is more important to us that
you, our ten-year employee. Abuse is simply a part of the job, and you
need to suspend your dignity while you’re in the uniform.

Bullshit.

Fire them. Fire them and send out a press release. Fire them and
tell the world why you did it. Fire them and let people know that
incivility won’t be tolerated at your company. Fire them and send the
message to your employees that they matter. Fire them and make your
company a better place.

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