NEW VIDEO: United Breaks Guitars 4?

Over the past few days, I have received several emails and requests via social media to write a song in response to the Customer Service incident on United Airlines, involving passenger Dr David Dao, who was forcefully removed from United Airlines Flight 3411 on Sunday April 9th. This is my response…

Watch United Breaks Guitars Song 3

Click to read the full article (PDF). 

Flight Attendant walks through plane.Sell a strong story

Customers and staff alike can be inspired by true-life tales that are often overlooked by
airline sales and marketing teams, says Shashank Nigam, chief executive of SimpliFlying

When United Airlines broke Dave Carroll’s guitar and his music video of the incident went viral, the carrier issued a press release that talked about how it transported 99.6% of bags without incident. The message unintentionally implied that United did not care much about the individuals whose bags were actually lost or damaged. Airline marketing teams often focus on… Click to read the full article (PDF). 

 

NEW VIDEO: I Cried by Max Carroll (with Sons of Maxwell)

Max Carroll

Before my folks got married their relationship hit a little bump in the road and, for a short while, my mom entertained another prospect. My Dad didn’t appreciate this other gentleman caller and eventually, neither did my mom. Max and Sharon patched things up and the rest is history.

During ‘The Dark Period’ however, my dad wrote a song to win my mother back, called ‘I Cried.’ That was 52 years ago and Don and I grew up hearing Max play it occasionally at home and, many times, he’d say “I’d like to hear someone record that sometime. I could hear that on the radio.”

He said it again recently and so I said “let’s do it.” We recorded the vocals at my place with Max singing lead and Sons of Maxwell singing background. Ross Billard did everything else at his studio in Halifax and, 52 years after writing the song, my dad finally got to record his first single, at the age of 73.

The icing on the cake is that, just this past weekend, Paul Kennedy at 105.9 Seaside-FM in Halifax did a live on-air phone interview with Max and debuted his breakout single while my parents enjoyed their first dance to “I Cried,” playing through their radio.

Download I Cried:

DaveCarrollMusic
http://bit.ly/BuyICriedMC

NEW VIDEO: Froggy on Ya Baby

 I’m a big fan of Country music and have been for a long time. My friend and co-producer Scott Ferguson and I were following some of the online criticism of the Bro Country genre one day when we joked about the fun we could have making a lighthearted offering of our own. The song was born the next day and this video was just too much fun to make.

Thanks to everyone who took part in creating “Froggy on Ya Baby.” It was a truly collaborative effort.

Bro-country: a sub-genre of mainstream country music originating in the second decade of the 21st century. It is a general term for styles of country music taking influence from 21st-century hip hop, hard rock and electronic music. Many “Bro Country” songs are about attractive young women, the consumption of alcohol, partying, and pickup trucks (via Wikipedia).

Bro Country artists often possess a certain one-dimensionality to their voices that some might refer to as “froggy.”

Download Froggy on Ya Baby:

iTunes
http://bit.ly/FroggybyDCitunes

DaveCarrollMusic
http://bit.ly/FroggyDCM

NEW SHOW: Sons of Maxwell perform at Rocktoberfest

Rocktoberfest Sons of Maxwell Poster

Video: God Save Doreen by Dave Carroll

Screenshot 2016-07-08 11.45.54 My grandmother Doreen Daley was a big influence over my entire family and although she lived in several places during her life, she spent her last few years here in Halifax with my parents.

She was a British war bride arriving with my dad and his sister at Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1944 and raised 3 children, the youngest of whom died from tainted blood received in hospital in the 1980’s.

A very proud and humble woman, she lead a seemingly normal life surviving my grandfather and a second husband of over 25 years each, but as she was coming to the end of her battle with cancer I decided to attempt to summarize her 88 years in a four minute song. That’s an impossible task but I decided to try, and focused on the essence of the person she was at three stages of life: her beginning and childhood with her maiden name; as the wife of a soldier traveling alone to a new country as Doreen Carroll and finally near her end as woman with a third last name, Daley, with a life well-lived.

One thing I learned from her was how to be proud of who you are and where you come from without feeling ‘better’ than others. For my grandmother her family, God and The Queen were the three pillars she rested her story upon and so I had a most powerful experience sitting her down in my studio chair and playing this recording for her a few weeks before she died.

I’d never seen her cry until that day, and if I had to say there is one song I’m glad to have written, it is this one. It’s called ‘God Save Doreen.’

 

How To Make Your Customer Really Mad

woman sitting poolside holding a straw beach hat background is a tropical pool bar with families enjoying their vacation

As a consumer advocate and professional speaker I listen to consumers from around the world share their unpleasant customer experiences and this is a great example of one that ends well, but one that the company should have solved much sooner. This highly respected brand was close to experiencing a social media crisis by doing everything possible to upset a valued customer.

Read more

Where’s The Beef (Or The Responsibility For It)?

In my opinion, I’ve got one of the best jobs in the world. I’m privileged to travel the world sharing my insights on the value of delivering outstanding customer service and why every business needs to become an effective storyteller.

This past week United Airlines has been in the news twice for customer service failures. In one case, a female passenger who is also a Muslim, was refused an unopened can of Diet Coke because of the potential threat it could pose in her hands. Meanwhile a non-Muslim passenger beside her was given an unopened can of beer. A bigger issue occurred though, when a nearby passenger made threatening comments to the Muslim woman that went unaddressed. http://dailym.ai/1ET2e4Q

In another case, a pregnant mom and her toddler son were removed from a United airplane before takeoff because the son had been crying and was deemed a safety threat to others, even after he’d fallen asleep. http://bit.ly/1HIKETa

But United is not alone… Last week Sunwing Vacations dropped the ball and left a paraplegic mother with a damaged wheelchair resulting in a less than stellar vacation experience. http://bit.ly/1MekMTr

All three of these examples have one thing in common. In each case, there were employees who could have made a decision to improve an experience for their customers but instead chose a path that affected not only the individuals in question, but their fellow passengers, which resulted in damage to the brand of their employer. These employees helped write powerful brand-detracting stories that are being shared by millions and the companies are largely to blame.

It seems clear that airlines have trained their employees to understand the technicalities of certain policies or empowered them to use their judgment to turn around a plane and remove crying children and their moms. It also seems apparent that there are those employees who deliver the bare minimum in their job description. But is the beef really with the employees? I believe something important is absent in their training and it goes beyond that.

The concept of caring first, or what I call ‘Compassionate Design’ seems to be missing as a foundation to delivering great customer service. If a company culture was founded upon the notion of encouraging and empowering employees to always seek ways to enhance an experience for customers by seeing themselves in the customer, imagine what a difference that would make for all of us:

A Muslim woman would have a can of soda opened in her presence; problem solved. A mother with a toddler would be allowed to calm her child and continue on with her fellow passengers. A woman with a wheelchair would be seen as unique, requiring extra care. All of these things would just happen.

Compassionate Design cannot simply be preached however. It must be displayed in the everyday actions of senior leaders, since caring cannot be reserved for the end user or customer alone.

Caring is free and it’s contagious and should be unleashed throughout an organization, so that employee’s first choice to a challenging situation is compassion. Employees learn to do this by experiencing it themselves from the company. Companies need to create an environment where compassionate responses are rewarded and recognized and then lead the charge where caring is central to every policy internally and externally.

There is no strategy more cost effective than adding caring to your business model and nothing that will increase sales and profit more effectively in the long haul than compassion by design.

Until compassionate design is ‘the new normal’ in customer experience, companies like United Airlines can expect isolated cases of poor judgment by it’s employees to detract from it’s Brand. No business can satisfy everyone all of the time, but the companies that create a culture of caring, can safely empower their employees to make better choices. Those companies will get it right more often and at that point the stories we tell will change for the better.

Want To ‘GO Viral’: Don’t Put Your Count Before Your Content

Want To ‘GO  Viral?’ Don’t Put Your Count Before Your Content!

One night, shortly after midnight, I got a call from a man in Shanghai who struggled to explain to me through his thick accent, that he wanted to commission me for a viral video. When I asked him to explain the focus of his story, he said he was looking for a music video that would expose the affair his wife was having with a Vegas Restaurateur.

Maybe I’ve watched The Godfather too many times but upsetting anyone who lives within the city limits of Las Vegas makes me nervous. For the record, I respectfully declined to write the song about the alleged affair.

When you create content that explodes in popularity and becomes YouTube-viral, the viewing analysis behind what makes it a ‘hit’ can be distilled: There are others who don’t care ‘how’ it happened, they simply want to enjoy it. Then, there are those believe a viral video can be as easily created as ordering a hamburger at McDonalds. My friend from Shanghai had recently viewed United Breaks Guitars, and he wanted a burger.

While I don’t believe a viral video can ever be guaranteed, when creating successful social media material, content is still King.  Worrying more about how many people will watch it before you focus on what they will experience is like putting the cart before the horse, or in this case, the count before the content.

Prior to releasing United Breaks Guitars, my social media strategy relied upon three things that defined what a successful video looked like to me. A video would need to:

1. Look Good
2. Sound Good
3. Make People want to tell their friends about it

That was it. I could focus on the content quality to ensure I met those three goals.  Before anyone else could like it, I had to like it first myself.  It had to look good and sound good to me, to be share worthy by my standards.

It’s no coincidence that the most successful commercial and artistic thing I’ve done to date came on a project I cared little about. Yes, I took great care in the craftsmanship, but cared little about what others outside the project might think during the creative stage.

I recall it being fun and refreshing to write and create UBG.  There were no expectations or demands, except my own. And without rules, I allowed myself to think freely and outside the box.

This is why the video succeeded. While anyone can capture content that goes viral by having a camera at the right time and right place, there’s nothing like the experience of watching something you create explode on social media.

One of my key take-aways from this experience has been the reminder that putting the cares of other people ahead of your own stifles creativity. Create first for yourself, and never put your YouTube count before the content.

 

Dave Carroll
Musician behind United Breaks Guitars,
Singer-Songwriter, Speaker, Author, Social Media Innovator

Connect:

Email: dave@davecarrollmusic.com
Web: DaveCarrollMusic.com

Twitter: @DaveCarroll
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Air Canada Dropping the Ball (and our luggage)

Air Canada Dropping the Ball (and our luggage)

Last week Air Canada was thrown into crisis mode when a passenger caught AC baggage handlers on video dropping luggage from the top of an outdoor staircase to a luggage trailer 20 feet below.

http://bit.ly/1hcvAQd

Rather than walking the bags down the stairs, as one would hope, the team felt that recreating Galileo’s gravity experiment in Pisa a more fitting plan.  What’s worse, these were carry-on bags; the ones people pack with their most fragile and important travel items.

The incident after only 3 days has been viewed over 750,000 times.  Air Canada has since apologized and may very well fire the workers.  Although I truly believe that saying “I’m sorry” is sometimes the least expensive option in a PR crisis, AC will have to do more to make this go away.

Firing the workers is a strong move in the short run.  It serves as a warning to other employees that this behavior won’t be tolerated, and it distances the company from what they will say is an isolated case.  The fact is that consumers believe this video captures more of a norm than an exception and I’m left with questions that only management can answer.

When Air Canada joined many other carriers in charging passengers extra for checking a suitcase, it caused passengers to pack as much as possible into their carry-on bags, which fly for free if you put them in the overhead bin inside the cabin yourself.  As a result the boarding process has become a race for overhead bin space and, when those are full, many bags are forced to be removed from the cabin, left at the gate and hand delivered down below.  It doesn’t cost the passenger any more but those bags were never meant to be handled, not to mention mishandled.

This process of transferring the carry-on luggage below takes time and, in the airline business, time is money.  Why then, with all this extra revenue does AC not pay for a solution to a problem it created?  Yes you can fire these employees but the problem won’t go away.  Why doesn’t Air Canada concede that the solution lies in a faster, safer and more efficient system of getting bags that won’t fit inside the cabin down to baggage handlers below.

I’ve seen luggage slides that are attached to these outdoor staircases at other airports.  I’ve often seen elevators near the aircraft that lift these extra bags to the gangway for disembarking passengers.  To be safe, a worker should carrying only one bag at a time down a staircase while holding the handrail to the bottom.  At best they can carry two but that’s a waste of time and it puts the worker at risk of tripping.

I’d like to think that all baggage handlers care about the belongings in their care but the truth is some simply do not.  In my opinion however management is more responsible in this case. The employer needs to give employees the tools to do their job effectively and efficiently. Maybe these specific baggage handlers should be terminated but until management addresses the bigger issue, we can only hope the camera’s keep rolling and Air Canada is held accountable as a company.

 

Dave Carroll
Musician behind United Breaks Guitars,
Singer-Songwriter, Speaker, Author, Social Media Innovator