Start Over

by Jeannie Walters

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I am lucky because I love my job. I get to dissect, evaluate and the improve people’s lives. This sounds grandiose, I know, but I believe it. We are all customers and we all have too much to do. So our experiences doing the things we have to do (or want to do) everyday matter.

Sometimes, though, the answer is this: Start Over.

Take Spirit Airlines. They’re making all sorts of news for charging up to $45 for carry-on luggage on flights.  CEO Ben Baldanza’s rationale is classic. He says that even though some airlines say bags fly free, “I challenge you to go to that airline’s ticket counter, give them your bag, and say, send it to Chicago for me…That bag doesn’t fly free. It flies with you as a paying customer, and you pay for the bags, whether you check the bag or not.”

Here’s the problem – he’s reacting to an experience that has evolved in all the wrong ways. What if someone were redesigning the customer experience today? There are some truths to how you’d consider the experience as the airline.

1. A customer wants to fly to a destination. We need to offer various ways to do that.

2. Pricing should include ways to cover the cost of fuel, planes, staff, etc.

3. Passengers will have luggage.

Would you ever think at this moment in the design process: Let’s charge them for checking bags OR carrying them on to the plane.


The world changes, so your customer experience has to keep up. Think about the experience your organization offers your customers in today’s world. Start over. Does it still make sense?

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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, LinkedIn Learning instructor, TEDx speaker, and President-Elect of the National Speakers Association Illinois chapter. Learn more here.

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