Delta Gets Proactive

About a week ago, I received a letter from Delta Air Lines with some surprising news. Because a flight I took on December 14 was delayed close to five hours due to weather issues at the airport, the airline was giving me a fairly large amount of SkyMiles as a way to apologize. The letter, which was signed by the company’s General Manager of Customer Care, said the gift was a way for Delta to “demonstrate its committment to service excellence and as a gesture of apology for its service failure.”

Needless to say, I was impressed with Delta’s proactive approach. The letter, which arrived less than two weeks after my flight, came without any prompting from me. I didn’t complain to Delta in any way about my delays – no letter, no blog post, not even a phone complaint. They just noticed that my flight was delayed significantly and decided to act on it. Despite having experienced some pretty horrific airline delays in the past, I have never received any sort of proactive apology from an airline, so this was especially interesting to me.

The letter was well written and apologized profusely for an issue that was not Delta’s fault without providing any excuses. The company thanked me for my business and told me how I could check my SkyMiles balance to ensure the credit was added and what I could use the miles for.

When a business goes out of its way to provide proactive credits or some other form of compensation for an outage, failure, delay, etc., customers usually appreciate this gesture. Given the fact that only a small percentage of customers actually complain about something that annoys them, acting proactively can go a long way towards earning a lot of loyalty from customers who might be upset and just not saying anything. Giving something equivalent to frequent flier miles doesn’t really cost anything and encourages customers to continue using your company in the future, so it’s a win-win.

To provide some context, I fly Delta regularly, but not enough where I have frequent flier status at this time. In other words, I’m not an especially important customer to them from a financial standpoint.

One Response to “Delta Gets Proactive”

  1. Gaurav said:

    Jan 14, 10 at 9:49 am

    Lovely Gesture by Delta. I agree little things and genuine concern make the biggest difference.