One way for CEOs to listen
Pretty direct recovery strategy for the newly appointed CEO of United Continental, Oscar Munoz. He has gone on record saying that the airline has to done a pretty awful job since the United-Continental merger and he has to regain customers’ trust. He talked in his employee letter about his plans for his listening tour and was pretty humble when stating, “The truth is, I didn’t have perfect answers to all of their questions, and some people I met may have walked away not completely satisfied.” He has invited employees to join him on the recovery journey: “This is a marathon with a running start. I’m ready to take this team forward. It’s time for a new day. Come with me.”
Munoz also introduced a new web site, unitedairtime.com, to connect directly with employees and customers who have something to say about improving the experience at United. To the CEO’s surprise, the response has been high. In the first 24 hours after launching, the airline received 3,173 questions and ideas. The new CEO frankly admitted that much of the responses, complaints and ideas for improvement had to do with food quality, customer service, labor agreements and technology. “And, yes, lots of complaints about the coffee.” Here are a few below. He’s on the right track by getting out front with all the problems and making sure he knows what to fix first.
Let’s gets together for quarterly meetings.
Put together a panel of UA staff from different levels who can represent their colleagues and meet with them once a quarter to share ideas and grievances, but most importantly, to set and agree to objectives to move forward and improve working practices and good experiences for your customers.
Keep talking with us, Oscar.
Note to Mr. Munoz: smile, be cheerful, and keep talking to your employees and customers because “leadership is a constant conversation” and it’s all about relationships.
Oscar, fly economy, and experience United with non-elite status.
During your 90 days of observation, Mr. Munoz should go through the process of being a non-elite, non-VIP, everyday United customer. From check-in to baggage retrieval, observe what your average customer sees, but more importantly, what s/he feels about his/her United experience.