What on EARTH are they trying to tell me?

chaosBritish Airways sent out this appalling piece of TL:DR gobbledegook to their customers.
They get to the point of  the letter at about the halfway mark…..

As part of British Airways continued investment in our Brand, Products and Services, during 2013 we have made a number of significant improvements to the tools and processes used during times of disruption.

The rationale for this investment is simple – to better serve our customers on the occasions where their travel plans are disrupted, through providing better information, more choice and options, while also enhancing the tools and processes our colleagues use to deliver a higher level of service. As part of this investment we have:

• Delivered new automatic rebooking capability, which looks to select the next best option available to customers
• Created a new Customer Response team at Heathrow
• Equipped customer service colleagues with iPads, offering the ability to rebook customers on the spot, while also providing a range of additional information
• Increased equipment and training for winter readiness at Heathrow

With the winter months approaching, there is a greater likelihood that the weather may cause some disruption to our customers’ travel plans during the months ahead. We will do all we can to mitigate and minimise such disruption.

In order to serve you better, we do need your help.

During times of disruption, having up to date, accurate contact information for our customers is critical in being able to deliver the service you expect. Please can I ask that you therefore take this opportunity to ensure that your Executive Club or Registered customer profile contains your contact numbers and email address.

You can check and update your profile here

You can also provide the contact information at the time of making each individual booking, but by including it in your profile it helps avoid us being unable to contact you should you forget to do so.

Please be assured that this contact information will not be used for sending you marketing communications unless you separately choose to receive such marketing communications and will always be used in line with the British Airways Privacy Policy and, for Executive Club Members, the Executive Club Terms and Conditions

Whether you are booking directly with British Airways or one of our travel agency partners, ensuring that your personal contact information is always included within the booking will allow us to contact you and serve you better.

My sincere thanks for your help and continued support for British Airways.

Warm regards,

(name redacted)
Managing Director, Brands and Customer Experience

How about this:

Mark Twain was right when he said “Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.”
We can’t change the weather, but we can  improve the way we handle disruptions and  keep their impact on your travel plans to a minimum.

This is what we’ve done:

  • Increased equipment and training for winter readiness at Heathrow.
  • Established a new Customer Response team at Heathrow.
  • Equipped mobile customer service teams with iPads to rebook you on the spot.
  • Automated the rebooking process to choose the best option available.

Help us help you:

We’ll also contact you proactively to let you know as early as possible if your flight is affected, but we need to be able to contact you at short notice.

  • Please make sure that your Executive Club or Registered Customer profile has a current phone number and email address. You can do that here
  • If you don’t have a customer profile, make sure that you enter contact details with each booking.

We promise that we won’t use your contact details for any other purpose unless you’ve specifically told us that we can contact you with marketing information.

We can’t guarantee that it won’t snow and that flights won’t be cancelled or delayed this winter, but we’ll do everything we can to get you to your destination as soon as we can.

If you have any ideas on how we can do it better, please contact my team at ……….

Managing Director, Brands and Customer Experience


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2 Responses to What on EARTH are they trying to tell me?

  1. surfrank says:

    Your text (or something very close) was probably the first draft of the guy who was tasked to write the letter. But the hierarchy levels above need to leave their mark, the communication agency must prove they’re worth their big budget and Legal has to adjust some potentially risky phrases, too. Happens all the time and all over the place. Just bothers me that no one seems to ever look at the results and learn from it … And hardly any customer ever complains …

  2. Send them a resume, there might be a job available as communications adviser.

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