Although Alaska Airlines is facing turmoil along with the rest of the airline industry, they’re determined to maintain their high level of customer service. They recognize that they need to maintain and grow their customer base to stay ahead in the future. Information Week has the story. That’s why they’ve come up with a new system to keep their customers informed as to their airline delays and a new innovative way to help customers reschedule their flights using Oracle’s Siebel Loyalty Management. Their first test was on December 20, when a bad weather along the west coast, an automated service emailed their frequent fliers who had flights canceled, and allowed customers to alter their travel plans online, instead of waiting in line to deal with a customer service representative. They’re looking to make the flying experience less stressful for their customers, and have developed this innovative service which will appeal to frequent fliers.
Louise Marsland details on this latest post on BizCommunity.com that her overall experience of airline customer service was superb. She details that the world’s view of customer service in North America is that of disgust and rudeness, even though she did not encounter any of these feelings as she lists everything that customer agents did to comfort her when her flight was delayed over 18 hours. Is the customer service experience really that different overseas? How does your company’s customer service in the US compare to customer service offered abroad?
In the airline industry, customer service is crucial to a person’s overall experience of the flight since customer satisfaction is on the decline. Whether someone is asking for peanuts or an extra pillow, flight attendants must be ready to deal with any sort of requests, and be able to deliver superior service with a smile. I came across this post on The Window Seat where Holly Burns writes about her recent positive experience she had on her flight with Air Berlin. Holly’s connecting flight to Dusseldorf was delayed, and so there was no way that she would make it. Air Berlin delivered excellent service by rebooking every passenger who had a connecting flight, announced it loudly on the speaker, and lastly gave everyone on the delayed flight a voucher for 8 Euros so that they could by refreshments while they wait. Treating people like human beings instead of warm bodies on a plane can really make a difference from an ok airline to a great airline. In this case, Air Berlin realized the problem and exceeded the customers’ expectations of the solution.
In a post on The Marketing Minute, the discussion of customer service came up. Are they bored with your service? As customers, we are used to ok service as a standard. Even bad service has been accepted into our society. So as marketers, why do we let it slide? Always trying to find a way to keep the customers coming back is the perfect example of why customer service should be more of a priority. Once someone innovates a little and sees that all good customer service takes is being genuine and generally caring about the people who buy your product, the value of your product will go beyond why the customer is buying it, they will keep coming back because of what you’ve done for them in the store. A current industry dealing with customer services issues is the airline industry. The New York Times wrote an article on this. With most airlines cutting back on leg room, food on board, and even free entertainment options, one airline is striving to be different. Midwest Airlines‘ tagline is ‘The Best Care in the Air.’ It’s not hard to see why when according to their website, they were ranked #1 in a variety of categories in the Cond?? Nast Business Traveler Awards of 2007: #1 Domestic Airline, 2007 (Single Class), #1 Seat Comfort/Legroom, 2007, #1 Food, 2007, #1 Cabin Service, 2007. In a struggling industry, they’re finding a way to give the customers the service they want. Good customer service goes a long way when it comes to attracting and retaining your customers.