Observations, deductions and feelings fueled by tequila, tea and tobacco

Sorry folks, you got it wrong!

In Customer Service on January 16, 2009 at 21:01

Air India advertisement

Someone needs to tell these folks that food, seats or old aircraft are not the reasons why most people have them as last choice carrier. The reason is simple – a friendly, comfortable customer service experiance. Unfortunately thats the last thing they seem to have on their mind (no mention here, and only a passing reference in their other similar advert).

Quite understable though considering how easy it is to provide new aircraft with flat bed (easy – just beg government for more of my money for free), great food (3rd party providers getting heftier thant usual margins) but how difficult it is to get your employees to behave more professionally, let alone softly!

This also reminds me of their major competitors – Jet, Kingfisher and BA. While Jet has established itself for friendly efficient service, KF is going for friendly luxurious service – both have established a global reputation for excellence of service and customer comfort. BA can pride itself on the dependability of its customer interface – never overly friendly, nor ever rude – very professional, very neutral. Each delivering the best of what its valued for. What does AI believe its valued for? What does it wish to be valued for?

–X–

On a personal note, have seen the bottom of customer relations in all aspects of their service. Took a return flight to Goa some months back:
– the flight attendant was outright rude while handing out food as if I had offended her by saying yes for breakfast.
– the in flight entertainment system was switched off because it had to be switched on only for ‘international leg’!
– the check-in staff at Goa was outrightly dismissive. With a huge crowd of passengers waiting , 2 of 3 counter officers walked off for a break!
– had the pleasure of watching a ground staffer publicly shout at a fellow passenger who enquired about the delay in baggage arrival (~20 mins and waiting)

No, I wasn’t offended. I merely paid Rs. 1000 extra next time to fly another carrier at a more inconvenient time.

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