A Lesson From the Airlines: Start Off Strong

 

I came across an article this morning talking about the biggest threat to air travels, which turns out to be disgruntled, unruly passengers. The article goes on to talk about these types of passengers, how the numbers have increased in the recent past, and what airlines can do to alleviate this issue.

 

One thing struck me, and I thought it can be applied to general customer service as well. In the article, it talks about the DISPAX conference, which was the second International Conference on Disruptive Passenger Behavior. Yes, there is a conference solely focused on this, as it is a significant concern.

 

During this conference, Prasad Yarlagadda, a professor of science and engineering at Queensland University of Techonology summed it up best by saying, “I see unruly behavior due to frustration and a lack of information more than anything else.”

 

This is a great statement that can be applied to many businesses in all industries: Make it great from the beginning. We’ve always known first impressions can make or break and experience. The airlines industry understands this, and believes that one solution to dissatisfaction is providing a strong experience from the get go, which means, more signage that is helpful to passengers, and providing enough information about what they are about to experience in order to ensure a successful flight.

 

When looking at customer dissatisfaction, take a look at action items that cause problems for your customers from the onset, whether it’s an initial call that’s not answered, a layout that causes confusion to customers as they enter your store, or anything else that might cause customer frustration before they even start the experience.

 

If you’re not incorporating the first impressions into your feedback surveys, you might want to take a look at this important part of the journey to make sure there isn’t anything preventing a great experience.

 

Take a lesson from the airlines and make sure your customer’s journey starts off strong. Customers tend to remember the beginning and end of an experience, and base their overall perception on that. Start strong and finish strong – if something minor happens along the way, it may be more easily overlooked or forgiven by your customer, and they will be likely to return.

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