One of the most annoying situation is when the customers you are flying with have complains.
It can be about the food, about the service, about the airplane, the punctuality, the weather.
Some situation can be controlled, some other situation are, unfortunately, out of control.
In Business Aviation the rule is:
no news = good news
Customers don’t really talk much about there feelings, thoughts and impression and the crew needs to invest a lot of their sensitiveness in order to elaborate body language and other signals that can lead to their mood and opinion about the flight experience.
Very rarely a custom will approach you directly with a complain. When this happen, you can listen actively, empathise, offer solution and alternatives and follow up.
I also use different service recovery strategy according to the situation, to make thing look better.
How do we communicate unforeseen situations?
When the problem is out of our control (for example slot, queue for de-icing, technical issues, weather, etc) usually, customers are informed by the cockpit crew (the flight attendant has a different authority than the Cabin Crew, learn more by clicking on this link: https://www.privatejetcoach.com/flight-attendant-vs-cabin-crew/).
First of all, note that both crew and operations work at their maximum in order to organise services on ground in such way that there are no delays or long waiting time. Ideally, the journey of our customers flows smoothly from the moment they arrive at the terminal until door closed and take off.
But, sometimes, unforeseen situations happen anyway.
If this is the case, the Captain usually inform the customers directly when they still have to board the aircraft and offer them the option to spend few minutes in the VIP lounge.
If this happens when customers are on board, still, the Captain usually informs them and leaves you with the duty to lift the moods up.
This can be easier than you think: who doesn’t feel better with a glass of champagne in their hands?!?
And what if the cockpit crew is busy?
Sometimes, the cockpit crew is really busy with other tasks, like a technical problem and its checklist, for example.
In this case, I stand by the cockpit and observe. Only if and when the Captain gives me the authority to talk to the customers on his behalf, I can explain the situation.
Never lie, but chose the words properly.
And then, continue with your service recovery.
How do you manage customer’s complain? What’s your experience?