The Business of Customer Service04:14
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Only a few of these passengers will be able to get flights out of San Francisco, depending on how many miles they fly and their "value" to the airline. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)
Only a few of these passengers will be able to get flights out of San Francisco, depending on how many miles they fly and their "value" to the airline. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Following the plane crash in San Francisco, airlines prioritized stranded flyers based on frequent flyer status rather than by how long they had been stuck waiting.

NPR's Steve Henn explains how companies make decisions about customer service.

When companies cater to their most profitable customers it makes short-term, bottom line sense. But that may not be a good long-term strategy.

Guest:

This segment aired on July 10, 2013.

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