CHAPTER

7

Customer Experience and Friction

In recent years, companies have increasingly focused on improving their customer experience. The ubiquity of social media means that bad interactions are no longer a private matter. The worse the failure, the more likely it is to be shared. Ask United Airlines. They experienced one of the worst branding disasters ever when a horrendous video of a passenger being dragged off a flight, bloodied and screaming, went viral and gained global media attention.1 Disaster struck again a year later. A puppy died in an overhead bin after a United flight attendant told a passenger to put the pet carrier there.2

No amount of advertising and positive brand-building can offset stories like these. I’ve flown a half-million ...

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