Latest News  

TELUS International Europe: Improving customer satisfaction in the airline industry – lessons from Southwest Airlines

At a time when the airline industry has been plagued by one PR disaster after another, it may come as a surprise to learn that airline customer satisfaction has actually reached its highest level ever, according to JD Power

2017-10-31 21:07:07





Grégoire Vigroux
Vice-President Marketing Europe at TELUS
International


Each year, the global marketing company releases a report ranking customer satisfaction for North American airlines based on a number of factors, including cost and fees, in-flight services, the check-in process, reservations and more.

One carrier to thank for the impressive trend upward is Southwest Airlines, who took the top spot for customer satisfaction among the low-cost airlines for 2017.

Southwest Airlines has built its impressive brand around being different from the norm, offering a personable and friendly service to customers during even the most difficult times. We asked Rob Hahn, customer-relations business consultant at Southwest Airlines, to share some of the secrets of how the company continues to use a great customer experience to drive overall business success.

Q: How would Southwest describe its brand character?
A: Our company purpose is to connect people to what is important in their lives through friendly, reliable low-cost air travel. That's in the back of our minds as we're serving our customers each and every day.

Q: How does Southwest set a standard tone for communication?
A: We want to have a fun-loving attitude instead of a stiff corporate structure when we're interacting with our customers. [It's about] having a conversation with them versus telling them, "Here's the policy, here's the information."

Q: How does Southwest empower employees to take control when difficult situations arise?
A: In the airline industry, there are so many things that could go wrong — or so many things that could go well — during a travel experience. When [our employees] are helping a customer, they look at how they can make things right, and make it a win for the company.

We give them tools to make those decisions on their own. Our customer relation representatives — social or phone — are trained on all of our systems. They are the escalation points and can handle anything that a customer throws our way. We really try to be that one-stop shop where we can handle the customers in a hurry and we don't have to send them to another team or another department. We train each of our representatives on our systems, our policies, how we speak to our customers, and on the different channels through which we interact with them.

Q: What's your strategy for dealing with the inevitable challenges, delays and frustration that occur during travel?
A: Regardless of the situation, the first thing you want to do is be transparent with the customer and let them know what's going on and show them what we're trying to do to fix it.

During a tech outage [last July], our VP of communications was doing Facebook Live chats. We had a live running blog with updates on what was happening. In this case, social media played a big role for us get the word out about what we were doing.

That was a really big win, though it was a challenging situation.

Q: In a challenging situation like the outage, how does Southwest keep from transferring passenger stress to staff?
A: I think a lot of it is in the way we hire. We hire folks who are passionate about providing customer service. They know that, in customer service, sometimes there are upset customers. Finding that right employee, who really has a passion to create resolutions for that customer, I think that really helps.

We all know that customers are not frustrated with us, but with the situation. So it's important to look beyond that frustration and how can we fix the situation for them.

Q: Is there a point when Southwest will choose to disengage with a customer?
A: We [always] try to work with the customer. People can be very heated, but our folks are very good at getting to the root of their problem so we can get it fixed. We don't have anything where we say, "O.K. we're cutting the customer off."

If there is something that feels like a road block that [our staff] can't get through, then we can escalate it to a supervisor or another leader to try to help the customer. But we're here to help, so we really want to stay with the customer and get their situation solved.

Q: How important is a sense of humor when communicating with customers?
A: A fun-loving attitude is one of our principles. We encourage employees to not take themselves too seriously; to have fun with our customers and with fellow employees. That's really unique about our company and about all of our employees.

For example, when our flight attendants do their safety briefings — there are certain regulatory requirements on safety briefings — but besides those requirements they'll crack jokes and sing songs, which gets the customers' attention. There are a lot of different things that are normal airline-industry jargon and we can find a way to make them more fun. We give our employees the choice to do that, if they want to.

We [want to have] fun with our customers and have conversations that are not just a boring back-and-forth. It's about having that Southwest heart and leaving customers feeling good about their experience.

Keep up-to-date with the latest thinking about BPO, ITO and Contact Center solutions. Each month, TELUS International, a global provider of contact center outsourcing and BPO solutions, shares insights on the latest customer service trends.

Related articles: www.telusinternational-europe.com /
www.telusinternational.com


0 COMMENTS ^ Go back to Top
WRITE A COMMENT ^ Go back to Top
 
Your email address will not be published.
Nickname
Email
Comment
Validation Code
   
 
 
NEWS
New funding round could bring UiPath to 7 billion US dollars worth market value

RPA unicorn UiPath is about to become one of the highest-value companies in AI after is will be raising more than 400 million US dollars in Series D funding from venture capital investors, sources on the marke

 Read Full article »
Study: Labour force deficit reduces productivity: seven out of ten employers are affected

About seven out of ten employees say they had smaller profits and business figures, because of the labour force deficit and the shortage of specialists, data of the latest opinion poll made by BestJobs recruiti

 Read Full article »
Berg Software Romania: Reasons to outsource your software services to Romania in 2019

According to an opinion published by Berg Software, a company that specializes in technology consulting, software development and nearshoring/ offshoring, for both SMEs and large enterprises, with offices in Ti

 Read Full article »
Arvato CRM Solutions rebranded under the name Majorel

Bertelsmann and Saham's customer experience business, "Majorel" has been recently launched, according to a press release of the company.

 Read Full article »
Banca Transilvania launches BT Open Banking platform dedicated to fintech companies

Fintech companies and start-ups in IT can test the new BT Open Banking platform (BT Api Store), launched by Banca Transilvania, for online integration with banking services such as: display of online balances,

 Read Full article »
Techcelerator and Google Developers Launchpad sign a partnership for growing startups in Romania

Techcelerator, the acceleration program in Bucharest and Cluj and one of the relevant catalysts of the local tech ecosystem's growth and development, announced a partnership signed with Google Developers Launch

 Read Full article »
Bogdan Pelinescu, president of ABSL: At least 6.000 people to be enrolled in outsourcing industry in 2019 in Romania

Around 6.000 professionals are estimated to be hired in the outsourcing sector in Romania this year, according to a study conducted by Romanian Business Service Leaders Association (ABSL) and consultancy compan

 Read Full article »
Tremend expands its expertise in the financial area, through a new unit coordinated by Stefan Patra

Tremend, one of the fastest growing Romanian software companies, enriches its team of professionals. Stefan Patra joins the team as Vice President of the newly established unit of Financial Services and will co

 Read Full article »
Infosys officially opens new digital innovation center in Romania

Infosys a global leader in next-generation digital services and consulting, announced this week it will be opening a new Digital Innovation Center in Bucharest, Romania at an event attended by local government

 Read Full article »
Atos supports the OneWeb Constellation Program primed by Airbus OneWeb Satellites

A new era of mass producing satellites was achieved when Atos supported OneWeb in the successful launch of six satellites on February 27th. Atos' contributions included providing all of the Assembly, Integratio

 Read Full article »
 
 
 
MOST READ ARTICLES
» Romania ranks above EU average in gend...
» The voting procedure for the BRAND OF ...
» Berg Software Romania: Reasons to outs...
» Deloitte's Tech Trends 2019 report: B...
» Steven Hunt, SAP SuccessFactors: Tecto...
» Molson Coors started to grow its busin...
» Societe Generale-European Business Ser...
» Capgemini: Investing in people is the ...
» Countries in CEE region, including Rom...
» Oracle reaches 4,200 employees and pla...
 
EDITOR CHOICE
The voting procedure for the BRAND OF THE YEAR 2019 IN ROMANIAN BUSINESS SERVICES is open!

This is the fifth edition of the event and the second year to select the public's favorite brand in the business services BPO, ITO and SSC in Romania.

 Read Full article »
Romania ranks above EU average in gender employment gap

In Romania, the employment rate measures the number of people who have a job as a percentage of the working age population. This page provides - Romania Employment Rate- actual values, historical data, forecast

 Read Full article »
Steven Hunt, SAP SuccessFactors: Tectonic movements in the world of work

The world of work will be shaped by five tectonic movements – or global megatrends – over the next few years. As you may guess from the geological analogy, the effects could be dramatic.

 Read Full article »
EY: European companies are divesting to future-proof growth

According to the EY Global Corporate Divestment Study, 84 per cent of European companies surveyed intending to divest within the next two years (the majority planning to do so in the coming 12 months), executiv

 Read Full article »
Knowledge-sharing presentation on latest trends the industry deals, in the program of Romanian Business Services Forum and Awards

Part of the upcoming joint half-day event, Romanian Business Services Forum and Awards to be held at JW Marriott Hotel on May 7th, the discussion agenda comprises a complex Knowledge-sharing presentation on lat

 Read Full article »
Latest News  
 
about us | newsletter | contact | members area | GDPR policy
Copyright © 2015 by Diplomat Media Events Design by Diplomat Media Events