Airlines often have a bad reputation when it comes to customer service. Delays and miscommunication frustrate flyers, and decrease the likelihood that they will continue to travel with a certain organization.
No company wants to experience that, which is why it’s essential for businesses across all industries to ensure that they are working to meet consumer needs. Whether it’s through quality online customer services or being available 24/7 over the phone, communication is essential.
That was what Washington Post travel writer Christopher Elliott found with his experiences in air travel. In a recent contribution piece for the Post, Elliott described how Delta Airlines improved its customer service over the course of two years.
When Delta first merged with Northwest Airlines, it was a difficult transition. Elliott reported that 2 out of every 9 complaints to the Transportation Department in 2010 involved a Delta mainline flight, which was twice the number of grievances lodged against the second-most-complained-about carrier, American.
“They blamed many of their problems on a difficult merger but outlined an ambitious plan which, they promised me, would improve customer service,” Elliott wrote. “This included initiatives to empower employees to help passengers, deploy more staff into key service positions and use technology to proactively help customers during flight delays.”
Elliott added that while the next two years were not easy, he began to notice a decrease in the amount of complaints about Delta. He then met with Allison Ausband, Delta’s vice president for reservations sales and customer care who explained that she meets with Delta CEO Richard Anderson every month. The two go over customer service numbers, including metrics, consumer complaints, denied boardings and on-time arrivals and departures.
While not all companies can guarantee a weekly meeting with the CEO to go over numbers, they can offer customers professional service through quality contact. Working with an answering service can help businesses go the extra mile for consumers.