Saturday, March 3, 2007

Do you LOVE Virgin airlines? I don't. Just like.

Today's airline pick is Virgin Airlines more specifically Virgin Atlantic.

Last year when I travelled on Virgin Airlines, I had heard of only good things. UNTIL I actually flew Virgin. One lesson that keeps recurring is that like any business, the secret ingredient is to underdeliver in promise and overdeliver in service. Virgin may be the airline for the people with its cheap'ish fares but does the service need to be perceived so? However, the issue is how do you manage the negative experiences? basically how do you accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative?

Here are a couple ideas to enhance its brand appeal:

  • Initiate a "mystery shopper programme" to assess the quality of service (if Virgin Atlantic hasn't already).
    • All service-related businesses need to do this as a part of their service audit to ensure their high standards are maintained.
  • The service levels of Pacific Blue are much better than Virgin Atlantic. Consistency in service delivery is difficult to maintain across a large company especially one that spans the globe but the difference in service shouldn't be compared as good or bad. As a high service company, the difference in customer experience should ONLY be good or excellent.
    • Virgin Atlantic is renowned for their Upper Class services. Why not raise the bar again to "Elite Class"? Upscale the upper class services, form partnerships with the premier luxury labels of this world.
    • Why not create an entire new airline that caters solely to the "elite" or business class traveller? like Eos' or MAXJet.
  • I applied for their air miles program and one year on still haven't received word from them. Not even by email.
    • It's important for ANY company to communicate with their customers.
    • Email me or text me and close the loop in the communication so I know you got it.
  • If your staff arrive to work grumpy, give them the option to go home. A bad day is a bad day. Everybody has them. Tomorrow is usually better. Use the 'standby's.
    • Smiling is soooooo underrated in some businesses. Smiling is infectious. In fact, smiling should be a prerequisite for working in a job. If people don't smile, it can infer that you are unhappy which rubs off on the product or service you are trying to sell.
  • Improve the quality of food. It doesn't have to be expensive but hire England's favourite son, Jamie Oliver, to write up the fresh new tasty meal plan. Jamie Oliver can work within a budget as shown with his schools programme.
  • Virgin Atlantic has a great website and reach in its marketing campaigns (thanks to Sir Richard "Virgin"Branson).
Outside of what I've mentioned, I like Virgin Atlantic but I don't love it.

My Love Marks:

Southwest Airlines,

Emirates Airlines,

Singapore Airlines

You got the luuuuuurve!!!

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