To make a long story short, my sister booked flights through a rewards agent, only to discover that the flight was quite full, and since she has two children under 4, she wanted confirmation that she would be given the LAST set of three seats in a row (as opposed to three single seats scattered throughout the plane). Air Canada's rule is that advance seat selection has to be done on the phone.
You know where this is going, don't you.
After waiting on hold for 3.5 hours (that's not a typo), she finally gave up and went to sleep. The next day she was able to confirm that she wouldn't be separated from her very young children, for a mere $150 extra.
During this ordeal, in an effort to help (and also as an experiment), I took to Twitter to see if that would be more helpful to her. You can click on the image for the conversation, but basically they said nothing helpful: "...thank you for your patience..."; "...high volume of calls right now..."; "...that's our policy..."; blah blah.
On one hand, at least they were listening and apologetic. On the other hand, they didn't help her at all, which arguably makes her angrier.
What's worse; to answer but provide no assistance, reassurance or compassion? Or to not answer at all?
This blog is written by Glenn Cressman, Share Of Marketing's founder and Chief Share Builder (bio). It covers all things marketing. Feel free to comment!