I see a lot of the inside of planes.
Lately I have been assessing why I usually fly Qantas, as I have been getting more and more aggrieved at the airlines pricing policy. Seriously, Qantas regularly have Business Class seats at TWICE the price of comparable airlines to places like London. Some of my business is going the way of Singapore Airlines as a result.
So why do I automatically tend to fly Qantas? Well it’s a tiny part patriotism I suppose. Qantas is the ‘Australian national carrier’ after all. It is definitely partly due to the great safety record. But mostly, it’s the reassuring sound of an Australian accent as you get on the plane with a kangaroo on its tail after a week or two in the US, Asia or Europe. That, and the chance to read Aussie newspapers and drink Australian wine! Seems strange, but it just makes you feel “home” before you get home.
But Qantas has been flirting dangerously with losing me as customer (not that they care, I am sure) because of their outrageous pricing and their inflexible Frequent Flyer redemption system, both of which can make your blood boil.
So to be fair I must report a very small, but very nice piece of customer relationship building from Qantas, that resonated with me recently.
I was flying to Perth from Sydney, a domestic flight in Australia, but still nearly 5 hours in the tin can, so not much fun, particularly if you are flying economy class as I invariably do in Australia. I was crunched up in what felt like row 500 Z, knees against the seat in front, jacket on my lap, and laptop awkwardly perched on the tiny tray table, when the immaculately dressed ‘purser’ (flight attendant in charge) emerged from behind the Business Class curtain and discretely made his way down the back, to me.
“Mr Savage nice to see you again. Welcome aboard”
Me (nervously wondering if they saw me pocket the magazines in the lounge), “Err yes, thanks”
Purser: “Mr Savage, I notice you are a Platinum flyer. Thanks so much for choosing Qantas again. May I hang up your coat in the front locker?”
Me: “Err sure, that would be helpful”
Purser:“And would you like a newspaper Mr Savage.”
Me:“Yes thanks. Financial Review”
Purser: “ And of course wine is complimentary on this flight Mr Savage, but I do have a particularly nice Shiraz in Business Class, if I can get you a glass or two”
Me: “Well, yes, thanks very much”
Purser: ”Pleasure sir. Let me know if you need anything else. Just want you to know we greatly appreciate your regular flying with Qantas”
Me: (dumbstruck). “Err right. Thanks”
All this was done very quietly and discretely, without alerting any other passengers, which I would have found most embarrassing. He did it with such charm and sincerity, that even I, a gnarled old cynic, felt a warm glow of appreciation.
It cost Qantas little I am sure to make this happen. Their system will flag Platinum flyers, so it just takes the effort, and the training, I suppose. And I have to say as a wavering customer, this small gesture went a long way to bringing me back into the fold so to speak.
Everyone likes to be recognised. Everyone likes to feel appreciated.
As I savoured my Business Class Shiraz, I thought about customer service and customer relationship building and how we could do it better in recruitment. Do we take the time to thank clients for their custom, at a personal level like this? And what about our long term temp workers? Do they feel appreciated?
Sometimes it’s the smallest gesture that makes the biggest impact.
Can we do this more for OUR Customers?
- Posted by Greg Savage
- On July 21, 2014
- 4 Comments