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Everything your customers see, hear, smell and touch impacts their experience. Delivering the ultimate in customer service requires careful planning and design of the entire customer experience. Southwest Airlines knows this and executes seamlessly. There have been times when I think there is no way possible they are going to get every passenger on the plane, loaded and ready to go by take-off time, but they do. Every attendant knows her job and knows her job well.

Competence is easier because of the sameness of the equipment. In the 1980’s as an instructor at the Quality College, we led the way in this approach. Every classroom was designed exactly the same down to the number of tables, chairs, lectern setup, boards, etc. Whether you were teaching in our offices in Florida, California, Georgia, or London, the equipment and surroundings were the same. The competence of the instructor was not wasted on trying to figure out how to work everything in the different environment, the competence of the instructor was focused on how to deliver the best possible experience to the customer.

It pays off for Southwest Airlines as it did at the time for Philip Crosby Associates and the Quality College. There are not any other airlines that I am aware of today that have over 40 years of consecutive profitability.

Is this an approach from which your business could benefit?

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One Response Comment

  • Jim Matorin  December 30, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Teri: I wonder how many organizations take time out to review the design of the customer experience they are delivering. I bet a small percentage.

    Reply

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