The Way Social Media should Work

There are a number of reasons to use Social Media. And as some of my non believing friends will remind me, there is no reason they will ever use it. Let me present a case to you where Social Media is great in an industry that is often criticized for poor custom service.

On Fathers Day I had to travel to Novi for a work training trip. Except for missing my family, the trip was going great. Learned a great deal on a new software product, picked up some local flavor in a small restaurant have a local beer.

My return was on Tuesday. Flight from Detroit to Chicago and then the connection back to Milwaukee. 7:11PM departure from Detroit getting back to Milwaukee around 9:42 with the transfer.

IMG_4558Then a text came in from United Airlines while we were finishing up training: Your 7:11pm flight to Chicago is delayed due to awaiting aircraft.  UA3617 now departs Detroit 9:30PM and arrives 9:54pm.  Problem now is that I am going to miss my connection. This text came in around 3:45.  My ride to the airport was coming to pick me up in 45 minutes, and I was still in the training class.

The driver from All Star Transportation was great. He picked up me and another guy on time.  The other guy was going ot Kansas. I get in the car and I get another text from United that my flight is not leaving at 10:06 and getting to Chicago at 10:30PM.

This is when I jumped on Twitter.

I send a status update to @United. Within 5 minutes a Twitter Ticket Agent responded. I made up TTA, not sure that is what they are really called. My guess is that the scenario I described happens all the time, and that a heavy client centric company like an airline figured out that this is a great way to further service the clients. Create some new positions, and people do not need to wait on hold on the phone for hours.

Agent ^EY from United was able to have me re booked on a different airline in my 45 minute traffic filled ride from Novi to the Detroit airport.  Now all I needed to do was to take a shuttle from the United terminal to the Delta terminal. In Detroit they are about a 10 minute shuttle ride away.

Made it home on a non-stop flight on Delta at 7:54PM a good two hours ahead of my originally scheduled flight. Social Media and excellent Customer Service the way it is suppose to work.

Preparation Failure

nfl_a_bbostick_dj_576x324As a high school coach of swimming for the past 24 years, I have learned a great deal of things.

Swimming does have its moments in crunch time like any other sport does. There are parts of the meet that are crucial to the outcome.

These are high school student/athletes mind you, not professional athletes that are being paid for their craft.

When we get to the crunch part of the season like the one that we are headed into right now, the thing that I remind my coaches is that we need to make sure we prepare the athletes for the circumstances around them.  We need to make sure that we practice the scenarios that may occur during the 2 plus hours of the meet.

I have been mocked to a certain level of my attention to detail the day of our State Championship Meet. There are a great deal of things I can control that day, but weather and traffic are not one of them. But we build that into the model.  Why? Because in November, the Badger football team has had home games for the Girls Championship Meet. Why? Because we have had monster snow storms for the Girls Championship Meet. All things that we have prepared the team for.

We also can encounter anything from not having a cool down pool, or the warm up pool is too crowded, or goggles breaking, or switching the order of a relay, etc. All seem pretty small to an outsider. But critical to the success of the team.

We also practice stroke technique into the last week, often to the dismay of the team when the biggest meet of their life is right in front of them. But working on the things that got us to that point are just as important as being there.

We try to eliminate as much doubt as possible to maximize peak performance. And we work on knowing what each persons role is on that day.

What was clear and evident today was that Mr. Bostick was not clear on his role nor objective on the play. Sure, the easy finger is to point to the player that botched the play. And he can say he was suppose to block, but proper coaching would have told me that this would have been executed enough times at practice that when it happened in a real game the player would know exactly what to do. And in this case, letting the ball go and let Jordy Nelson get it. But maybe it was not practiced enough for this to be an instinctive move for Bostick?

Now that all seems simple from my point of view. But I am a firm believer in preparation allowing you to execute correctly. This is more of a preparation failure.

Air Travel

Granted, I do not travel a great deal via plane. But I have a couple pet peeves when I do travel.  And since I missed my connecting flight because of some “paint chips” according to the Captain, I had some time to reflect on my recent travels while sitting for 3 Hours in Detroit.

1. The Loud Cell Phone Talker – I don’t care what your sales numbers are for the year are so far. And I could really care less how fired up your guys are about the next sales promotion. Do me a favor, stop thinking about yourself for one second and be part of society as you walk into me because your phone call is so freaking important. Thanks for nothing jerk.  Did I mention that this was still in the terminal?  And then to carry the conversation onto the plane.  Wish I would have thought of this earlier:

2. Bring the Kitchen Sink – Spend the $25 and check your bag.  It is WAY TOO BIG to fit into the over head compartment. Are you in that big of a hurry that you can’t walk past baggage claim to get your luggage.  Most of the times I travel, by the time I get there the luggage is coming off the plane and waiting for me at baggage claim.  Your one carry on is way too big, but your second one that is suppose to go under your seat has no chance.

3. Stand up on Arrival – As soon as the plane lands they stand in the aisle.  Maybe you need to stretch you legs, maybe.  But I think that those people think that by standing and grabbing their over sized bag immediately from the overhead that somehow the 34 rows in front of them will get off the plane quicker. Really? You think the Mom with two kids could care less that you are two rows behind her and were standing now for 19 minutes. Doubt it.

Life I said at the beginning, I do not fly that much.  But every time I do fly, I see the same things.  What would George say?