It is tricky to handle various kinds of Customers in a Service sector, however, Physical Bullying is never an acceptable resort: Our view on the Indigo video controversy

Off-late, Indigo Airlines has been on the limelight due to all the wrong reasons. It was just a few days back the ace Indian Shuttler P. V Sindhu had taken to social media to assert a misbehavior by a ground staff of Indigo during her recent flight. A little after this incident creating heated debates and discussions, Indigo once came to limelight for totally wrong reason. A disturbing video of a 53-year-old passenger, Mr Rajiv Katyal manhandled by two Indigo ground staffs has gone viral. According to the reports, Indigo staff are said to have physically assaulted Mr Katyal after the later allegedly abused the ground staff over some operational issues. The brawl soon turned into a physical assault on the 53-year old passenger.

Soon after the video went viral, the airline issued a public apology to Mr. Katyal and claimed to have taken strict action against the staff who was responsible for the same. There have been many opinions and debates doing the round blaming both the passenger and the staff equally. Some have even claimed that we shouldn’t judge the aforementioned Indigo staff in question merely seeing the half-baked story in the video. According to a few, Mr Katyal might have been equally guilty of abusing the Staff and provoking them.

However, we do believe that whatever maybe the real reason behind the scuffle, the passenger might have been the difficult one who started the abuse but resorting to physical abuse with a customer is not justified whatsoever. Service Industry is difficult. It becomes worse due to different kinds of customers with different characteristics and different demands. Since, the customer pays for the service, negotiation power lies with the customer which every Service provider understands or should understand. Every single day, every single hour various service providers have to deal with unusual, unwelcome or sometimes even unruly customers’ behavior. Especially, in the aviation Industry there are some horrendous, unacceptable instances including sexual harassment cases which the female flight attendants have to go through. Whatever cases are reported, it is always proved how smartly they tackle those disturbing incidents by escalating it to the concerned authority. But there is hardly any incident of flight attendants physically assaulting the customers. Hence, in the Rajiv Katyal case we believe that Indigo has a moral high ground to be maintained here as the service provider. The immediate right thing should have been escalating the matter to the security if they felt that the said customer in question is irrepressible. It totally reflects lack of proper recruitment process and training by the airline.

Apart from firing the guilty staff, a little carefulness during recruitment process and a little improvement in training processes to ensure better customer handling should be a perfect investment for Indigo.

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