I wrote the following while on a Southwest Airlines flight yesterday from San Francisco to Las Vegas.
I have long been a fan of Southwest Airlines for several reasons, and each flight with them reinforces the notion that more businesses would do well to learn from them.
For example, some of the positives include:
- They don’t gouge the customer with extra baggage fees, still allowing two bags per customer without fees, all while maintaining a low fare.
- The boarding process is simple – first check-in, first board without assigned seating. Some don’t like that, but I do.
- The flight attendants are allowed to show their sense of humor in making announcements. Moments ago, one announced “If you’re traveling with small children, what were you thinking?” and then after giving the instructions for inflating the life vest in case of a water landing, she said “If none of that works, I hope you can swim really well.” There were other nuggets scattered throughout the flight.
- Lastly, they have a long-standing reputation of excelling at customer service.
Too many companies get caught up in presenting themselves in some so-called “professional” manner that they forget to do what is in the best interest of relating to and serving the customer. Older, larger companies are especially prone to this mindset. If they would loosen up some, they may just find that people relate to them more and like them better.
Oh, to have more leadership in businesses that value simplicity in business processes and a culture that makes the experience for the consumer a positive one from start to end.
Leap year lesson #237 is More companies should be like Southwest Airlines.