Recipe For Business Failure

  1. Have a confusing pricing strategy that nobody can understand. Change it as often as possible to make it even more confusing.
  2. Create a terrible record of delivering your service as promised.
  3. Build in stiff penalties for doing business with your company if someone wants a refund or an exchange of product.
  4. Charge you best customers much higher prices than the occasional buyer.
  5. Nickel and dime your customer as often as possible with additional fees.
  6. Reduce the quality of your service to the point of making customers physically, mentally and emotionally unhappy.
  7. Create a rewards program for your best customers and then, over time, reduce its benefits until you can make the same customers feel like they’ve been duped.
  8. Create a workforce that is usually in contention with management and who is rarely rewarded for exceptional customer service.
  9. Never take responsibility for mistakes and when things look like they are going south, ask the US Government for a bailout at the additional expense of your customers.

Yes, you too can run your business like any major US airline by following the above recipe.

And, now, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, major airlines are charging their best customers – that would be the business traveler – even higher prices. They have implemented a strategy of two and three-night stays for their best fares instead of the usual one night stay.

That means in addition to being penalized for the need for reservation flexibility and late purchase, business travelers will be getting hit again because they still won’t be able to qualify for cheaper fares unless they can stay over three nights. According to The Journal, the number of three-night stay requirements at the big six airlines since January is up 87%.

John Tague, COO at United Airlines, stated in the article that, “Fares still need to go up to cover fuel costs and one way to do that is to get business travelers to buy more expensive tickets.”

Delta’s CEO, Richard Anderson, stated, “We offer different products to different customers based on their attributes.”

Seriously – they both actually said these things.

Remember that the next time you’re in your seat that you paid $1000 for sitting next to the person who paid $200. It’s your “attributes” that made all the difference in the price.

2 thoughts on “Recipe For Business Failure”

  1. This is why we need a good nationwide rail system like they have in Europe. I think plenty of people would ride the rails if they were on time, clean, and connected enough cites.

  2. Matt – thanks for the comment. I use the trains here on the East Coast as often as possible. I agree, we need more of them and we need them to be clean and on time. Get the word out to the politicians that it is time to stop supporting the oil companies and move into greener solutions.

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