“Delays Every Landing Through Atlanta”…”Don’t Expect Luggage To Arrive”…”Didn’t Even Leave The Airport”…are just of few of the acronyms that I assign to Delta during my talks.
And, even though I’m a multi-year Diamond Medallion flyer (the top level in their SkyMiles frequent flyer program), there have been more than a few times that I was frustrated with their lack of commitment to customer service.
No more. Sure, there are times that I wish a flight wasn’t late — or that a flight attendant was more friendly — but, by and large, Delta has REALLY stepped up their delivery of a positive experience in an industry known for its lack of enthusiasm in customer relationships.
The research is bearing out what I’ve been discovering from my Delta seat. Forrester Research posted results of their “2014 Customer Experience Index” — and it reveals that Delta has leapfrogged perennial number two, JetBlue, and now only trails legendary Southwest Airlines in the evaluation of customers for the top spot in the rankings for the best flying experience.
I believe that there are three steps to making your customer experience stand out to the point that it changes the belief systems that customers have about your level of performance.
- Get it right — Your customers aren’t going to change their tune until you first fix what’s going wrong. Easier said than done…but, customers want you to GET IT RIGHT without error. That isn’t going to happen until you repair those areas where service isn’t perfect, and repeat until “getting it right” — not “making it right” — becomes what happens all the time.
- Deliver the “Ultimate Customer Experience ®” — You’ll find the specific steps you need to execute elsewhere regarding our trademarked approach. However, going from simple execution to the Ultimate Customer Experience (UCE) can dramatically alter how your customers perceive your level of commitment to them.
- Create Distinction — To truly lead the field, it’s not enough to just “do it right.” You also have to deliver a UCE. And, as those at the top of the Customer Experience Index demonstrate, there must be something distinctive about how you deal with your customers! Southwest did it by having fun on the flights. Starbucks did it by creating the “third place.” USAA did it by clearly targeting a selected market and creating custom services for their unique needs. You can do it, too!
(Read more about “Create Distinction: What to Do When ‘Great’ Isn’t Good Enough to Grow Your Business” HERE.)
Congratulations to Delta — and, as one of your top .5% of flyers, heartfelt appreciation for your hard work to make the customer experience significantly better!
You’ve truly changed the way customers feel about the experience that you deliver!