A customer service e-mail from Southwest is about to kill the LUV

by | Mar 21, 2011 | Writing Matters Blog | 2 comments

I love Southwest Airlines: best prices, best schedules, best customer service, hands down. But the e-mail I received from them yesterday (click to enlarge, below) is pure blunder:

  • It guarantees me a personal response within 10 business days. This is an absurdly long time for a customer to wait for an e-mail from an airline’s contact center. In fact, no customer in her right mind will wait 10 days for help with rescheduling a flight, finding lost baggage, or adding a Rapid Rewards number to an existing reservation. That customer is going to call the contact center, so the unreasonable wait time cripples the chance for first contact resolution. And don’t get me started on the way the number is written. It shouldn’t be “Ten” or “ten.” It should be “10.”
  • It tells me not to “reply.” The quotation marks are truly weird, as if the desire to reply were ironic, not practical, or an exotic response some customers have to e-mails from companies.
  • It mentions a mystery link that may help me. When Southwest writes “We have provided a link to information on southwest.com that may help you find answers…,” the company sends me on a wild goose chase around its homepage to find the mystery helpful link. Why not put it in the e-mail? And, by the way, the bolded southwest.com in the e-mail was not a link.

 I hate to say it, Southwest, but our LUV may be on the rocks.

Southwest Airlines E-Mail March 2011



Tags: Customer service e-mail


  1. Capitalizing the word “ten” makes it all better. 😉

  2. Ha, Steve, you’re right. “Ten” is way more official than “ten” or “10.”

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