Providing exceptional customer service is often seen as an art, where companies plan to amaze the customer in several ways so he or she stays satisfied. The Airline Industry is such, that it should be functioned by strategy and plans, that are synced throughout the company (airline) departments, ensuring customer satisfaction. The basic goal to start from is to offer secure, dependable and pleasurable experience to the customers when they choose to fly with your airline.
In the airline industry, you deal with people on three different stages, Pre-flight, In-flight and Post-flight. Divided into sections, here’s how you should go about dealing with them during these three phases to maximize customer satisfaction.
The first step in delivering customer service to passengers is by providing them with a smooth and effortless medium, through which they can book flights, check details, explore destinations and calculate travel expenditure etc.
It is crucial to know everything about the flights, company policy and cargo guidelines – enough to satisfy anyone who calls to reserve a seat or enquire about a suitable flight plan. It is important to note that people will ask all sorts of questions, from “what plane” to “how long to the destination” to “what food will be served” – it is important to be patient, have a pleasant and polite tone when dealing with customers. Make sure that you know all the information that is required, tackle the customer’s demands and suggest a suitable flight plan if required.
Also, be sure to mention the charges clearly, including any and all hidden charges. Any misleading information can be detrimental to the repute of the airline which will make your customers lose their trust in you.
The real challenge of pleasing a customer is in flight, when the customers are tired, anxious and desperate to reach their destination. All customers are flying for various reasons, some for pleasure, some for work and others for emergencies. The strategy has to be service at a personal level, or the airline will lose the customer to a more sensitive and strategically wiser competitor.
During the flight, customers expect a comfortable and relaxing journey. Expectations lie high and reign higher with regards to the flight crew; one wrong move could result in agitated customers who will think twice before flying with you again.
Keep your customers happy, right from the start. For example, you could offer your passengers drinks as soon as the cabin doors close. Individual passengers often have problems with the people sitting next to them and often want a change of seats – something most airlines have a problem accommodating.
It is important for the crew to maintain a level of decorum on each flight, keeping the expectations of their customers in view since that basically serves as a benchmark for providing service. Empathy and patience is the key; be polite and try your best to answer all their questions as tactfully as possible – including seat changing ones. If there is a seat available, offer it. Try to accommodate your customers as much as you can.
The basic lesson is to be there for the customer whenever he or she needs the attendant in the flight. Cabin crew should keep checking if the customer needs anything, for example an extra pillow and blanket, helping them out with the inflight entertainment system, or keep offering water since most passengers feel dehydrated while up in the air. Going the extra mile in pleasing the customer and making them comfortable will always pay off, since the customer will land at their destination happy and relaxed, instead of being irritated and tired.
Post flight services are a crucial part of the entire process since the customers would know the airline won’t abandon them after the journey. It can be stressful for customers who lose their baggage and it is the prime responsibility of the team to help the customer out in every possible way.
In situations where the flight is delayed or cancelled, customers must be accommodated accordingly. Helping them out with refunds, hotel accommodation, getting them on a different or connecting flight are all important measures towards ensuring quality service.
Your airlines customer service should make sure that the customer is at the center and all processes are being carried on to guarantee great service and world class travel experience.