Southwest Airlines Customer Satisfaction
By Lisa Duran, Customer Experience Consultant for The DiJulius Group
I took a flight on Southwest Airlines and like many times before, I received a survey. I don’t always take surveys unless I have had a great or a disappointing experience I want to communicate. I don’t know what compelled me to open this survey up, but I am so glad I did. I was expecting the same old survey questions.
- How satisfied were you with the service you received?
- How likely is it that you would recommend us to your friends?
- Was our beverage service timely?
- Rate how comfortable the seats were.
As I started reading the actual survey, I was surprised by how it made me feel. The questions they asked were different.
Indicate the extent in which you agree with the following statements:
- Upon entering the plane, they greeted me in a way that made me feel they were happy I was there.
- They made the passenger process of finding space for bags and a seat more efficient.
- As a customer, they made me feel they were happy to be there and enjoyed their job.
- They made me and/or others feel like requests for assistance or information would not be an imposition.
- They genuinely made me feel valued and appreciated.
- The team presented a calm, confident, and pleasant demeanor
This survey communicated two things to me:
- They wanted their employees to genuinely love what they do and truly desire that it show in how they treat me as a customer.
- They cared about the things that were important to me.
They aren’t just interested in a customer satisfaction score; they genuinely want to deliver a memorable experience.
This reminded me of a fertility practice client that I helped implement a similar customized survey. We decided that we wanted more than a score, we wanted to really know how they made the patient/customer feel at each touchpoint. Asking very specific questions about the patient visit that likely have an impact on how the patient/customer feels helped the staff make sure they continued doing the things that make the patient feel cared for and fixed the blind spots they didn’t know they had.
The survey asked questions like:
- Do the baby pictures on the walls in the waiting room inspire hope or frustration?
- At check in, do you want the patient advocate to ask you how you are feeling or do you want privacy?
- Does allowing children in the waiting room make it difficult for you?
Of course, the survey also had questions that would offer a measureable score so they can strive for improvement. Adding these kinds of customized questions allows them to get real answers to things they assumed they knew the answers to. We were all surprised by some of the answers and implemented changes that were needed right away.
There is a process that they/we used as a best practice to create these questions.
- Identify each touchpoint your customer experiences and try to represent each touchpoint
- Ask yourself what are the things you have always assumed and never asked
- Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself what might be important to them in each stage
- Don’t be afraid to ask hard questions
- Be as specific as possible
- Be sure to ask questions that find out how that particular interaction made them feel
More than a score, how we make our customers feel gives us a bigger goal – to deliver a genuinely caring, personalized experienced.