It's not you, it's me
Updated: Sep 14
By: Catalina Jiménez - Director & Founder, Sentidos Comunicaciones
Article published in Forbes
After the pandemic and for unknown reasons, my beloved airline decided to change its seats, loyalty program and all policies and communications with passengers.
I usually have to travel a lot for work; however, last year between academic and personal responsibilities I increased the number of times I got on a plane. I have always been faithful to the same airline and its frequent flyer program for nearly 20 years; The problem is that this company changed and now what I feel every time I board a flight with them is: “it's not you, it's me”.
After the pandemic and for unknown reasons, my beloved airline decided to change its seats, loyalty program and all policies and communications with passengers. My airline doesn't want me anymore, that's what I've thought several times... Every trip I think they're going to realize that they're losing me and they're going to expand the space of the seats, that they're going to be able to recline again, that they'll understand that they are mistreating me and hundreds of passengers who, like me, continue to wait that everything will be as before.
On long and short trips, inside and outside of America, I have seen stewardesses and other crew members, trying to defend the indefensible and trying with their own training to control grumpy, disappointed customers and those who, like me, feel that they have stopped loving us and they are telling us “it's not you, it's me who no longer wants you to be my frequent client (and not temporary either).
YOUR PEOPLE NO LONGER LOVE YOU
I have taken the task of speaking with some of the flight attendants and they themselves ask us to send the complaints through a survey, so that we raise our voices and share our experience with the brand. They no longer feel identified with their employer and look to someone else for defense. Public relations is by definition maintaining your good image in front of different types of public; And in this scenario, our best spokesperson is always the internal customer, who, feeling identified with the company and what it represents, naturally becomes its spokesperson. But what happens when he no longer believes in you? the brand lost its purpose, the one that engages stakeholders in larger stories. In the case of my airline, of course it fulfills its commercial purpose and continues to transport people from one place to another, but its objective is no longer to generate great and memorable moments, they no longer care about the flight experience of their passengers and therefore of their greatest interest group, including the internal team that must, as a faithful squire, defend a cause in which they no longer believe.
WHAT TO DO?
For my part, I have decided to try new airlines, until I fall in love with one again and whenever possible, I will use any other option than the one that I historically preferred and even defended. I think that this brand no longer cares about losing its customers, it just wants to maintain costs, even if this means losing its frequent travelers. According to various industry statistics, getting new clients can be 6 or 7 times more expensive for any company; This shows that it is much easier and more profitable to keep your current client “in love”. On the other hand, this is one of your best sales channels, it is estimated that between 60% and 70% of those who come to a new purchase or brand for the first time, do so through the recommendation of a frequent customer or a person satisfied.
It's not you, it's me...it's me going