Changing a corporate culture cannot, and should not be an immediate process, and neither can it be a half-hearted one. Businesses that truly dedicate themselves to building a customer-focused culture are stronger competitively -- and provide better places to work.
Jobs are scarce, the Dow is bipolar, and customers are squeezed at every point. Brands that engulf them in a warm and fuzzy cloak of predictability and anticipation in the right situation are the ones that will gain market share but only if the experience with that brand makes the customer feel safe, as in, "I trust that brand. They will help me quickly. They care."
Since it's unlikely airlines will be replacing or reconfiguring passenger seats in the near future, maybe offering "free drinks" or some extra bonus miles for those in the last row would serve as a nice gesture.
With consumers readily discussing their brand experiences on blogs, review sites, and social-media platforms, the voice of the customer (VOC) has never been stronger than it is today. The word-of-mouth impact of one negative experience can start a firestorm with far-reaching impact on your brand.