The Airline Industry and Your Chiropractic Business

How do the recent struggles in the airline industry relate to your chiropractic business?


By now you’re probably aware of the incident that recently occurred on the United Airlines Flight. In all aspects, what took place was truly an atrocious display of customer service. It’s going to take United a while to recover from this and there’s no doubt that they have lost some customers forever. There’s not much to learn from this incident other than to remember that the customer’s desires should always exceed the company’s.


However, another airline, Delta, has also taken heat for cancelling over 3,000 flights in the past week. Delta is a six billion-dollar company that is my personal favorite. They have provided me with a better customer experience than any other airline. If you look at their company history over the years they have made remarkable strides and implemented systems and procedures that have allowed their company to grow tremendously.

Until this past week, Delta had a streak of 241 days of never cancelling a flight. In 2010, that number for the entire year was zero. This statistic alone shows how much growth and improvement the company has made in the last six years.

What Went Wrong?

So what went wrong this past week? Bad weather.

You might be thinking, “That’s it? Bad weather?” The answer is really that simple. An unpredictable storm that lasted the course of a few days was enough to knock the airline giant off-balance. Delta is known for pushing the limits and running an advanced system with multiple aircrafts. This system has proven to be one of the best in the industry 90% of the time or when the skies are blue.

What about the other 10% of the time? What happens when the skies aren’t blue? Systems don’t work as designed and aren’t yet equipped to handle these unforeseen variables.

So their systems failed, now what? I guarantee you the leadership team at Delta isn’t sitting around sucking their thumbs! They are evaluating the situation finding solutions and implementing them as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, they understand that 90% of the time their systems deliver a customer experience that is unrivaled in the industry. Keeping this in perspective, they are going to find ways to tighten the screws to increase their ability to better handle the unpredictable 10%.

Your Chiropractic Business

As chiropractors, we have the tendency to try to control everything. Controlling every patient cluster in your office leads to four patient clusters and scheduling fifteen-minute appointment times. If you operate under this mindset you cut off your ability to grow and become scared to push things. At SIDECAR, we believe in developing systems and procedures designed to serve the 90%. You have to be prepared for the one-off’s and the 10% of the time that things don’t go as planned; but, designing systems around the 10% will severely limit your ability to serve the 90%!

Delta will recover and find ways to improve. Great companies always do.

Build your company around serving the 90% in the absolute best way you know how. When the unforeseeable happens, don’t hide or shy away from it. Take the problem head on and find a solution.

Dr. Nathan UnruhDr. Nathan Unruh, CXO SIDECAR