Archive for March, 2012

Customer Service Design and Practice

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Customer Service smile

One of the most important practices of a strong customer service organization is to prepare airline support employees with effective skills to serve in a high-traffic, fast-paced environment. Customer service staff must be well-versed in all facets of their responsibilities, including comfortably interacting with passengers; accurately responding to changing service requirements; and proactively identifying ways to enhance the traveler’s experience.

High quality service providers train their employees thoroughly in these important skills, but also ensure that there is oversight for customer service delivery and execution through every phase of its operation. This means fully engaging with employees, communicating effectively and responding to operational changes in a way that avoids issues and optimizes service delivery. To maximize the effectiveness of proper training, the following practices encourage a culture that supports customer service excellence in all endeavors:

1. Stay abreast of operational demands

Constant industry changes are forcing airlines and service providers alike to face many new functional challenges – from a fluctuating customer base to pressure to reduce costs while increasing customer service. Service providers should leverage operational efficiencies such as technology to remain at the forefront of customers’ needs.

2. Deal openly with improvements that may be needed

Improvements are not about changing the organization, but how the customer has changed or modified their tastes. A service provider must learn to adapt to the customer’s service preferences in the ever-changing marketplace.

3. Communicate values and expectations

Identification of service values guides interaction and decision-making regarding customers. These communications are designed to keep frontline employees aware of the importance of their efforts in achieving quality customer service.

4. Celebrate customer service triumphs

Excellent service is a learned behavior requiring constant reinforcement and recognition. By publicly recognizing these successes, a message that “this is what we value” is delivered to the customer service staff. Over time, employees adopt these ideals, leading to automatic application of effective customer service tactics.

Achieving first-rate customer service levels requires more than just establishing a set of guidelines to follow. It is realized through maintaining unrivaled service quality and adjusting to your customers’ needs.  Through this practice, an airline service provider not only achieves superior levels of service, but consistently sustains them for the benefit of its customers.