Solvis is a full-service management consulting company specializing in Customer Relationship Management. Our team's experience and technical know-how will help your company to develop and deploy effective, efficient, technologically savvy demand generation and customer loyalty solutions.
The recent headlines have chastised and criticized the airline industry for poor customer service and increased fees. American Airlines consistently surprises me with examples of good customer service:
On my return trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico from Miami, Florida, we were delayed by 3 hours because of mechanical problems on a Boeing 767. Which, by the way, is generally a good aircraft in my experience; the Airbus planes that AA uses seem to consistently exhibit mechanical problems and thus delays. I always try to avoid routes that use the Airbus. Anyways...
Having been Platinum or Gold American Airlines Advantage (their Frequent Flier program) for 12 years I am a "good traveler" in that I generally do not get stressed out or angry while dealing with the annoyances of air travel. 1.7 million miles will have this affect on you. Therefore I didn't worry to much of the delay and eventually arrived in Puerto Rico without further issue.
This morning, 2 weeks later, I received a pro-active e-mail from AA. I hadn't even contacted them nor did I file a complaint. The e-mail stated:
"May 29, 2008
Dear Mr. Lachance:
We are sorry| There is no question that the lengthy delay of your flight created
inconvenience for you. Please know that
we have great respect for our customers time and it is just as important to us
to depart on time as it is to you. Safety will always take precedence over schedules but we will continue
to work hard to keep flight delays to a minimum.
We'd like to offer some encouragement to fly with us
again and 3,000 bonus miles have been deposited into your AAdvantage®. You will see the mileage in your account soon
Again, we apologize for disrupting your trip. We hope you will give us another chance to
serve you better. We'll see you aboard.
B. J. Russell Customer Relations American Airlines"
The lesson here is in understanding your customer - proper segmentation and focus on the customers with the highest CLV, "Customer Lifetime Value". I can safely assume that they are making sure that the customers with the highest value are receiving the "Apology Communication" along with bonus miles which can be used towards free air travel.
As our travels take us to various places here in Latin America, we are exposed to companies' attempts at customer service and marketing efforts. Most travelers will agree, the experiences are not always pleasant nor proactive.
However, here in Puerto Rico I had a great experience with Budget Rental Car. I was cleaning out the back seat of the rental car (a top-of the line Hyundai! The only car available...), in preparation for the return of the car this evening. So as I was packing my ties, papers, and random items into my gym bag, I apparently dropped the key on the back seat. Not a good move. I locked the door and no sooner had the door shut, I realized I was missing that important piece of metal and plastic. Of course this had to happen at 7am on the day that I am traveling.
I placed a call to Budget who informed me it would be a $100 service charge for them to come and open the car. As I looked at my watch and thought about my need to get to the office, I quickly replied "No problem, please send someone".
Within 5 minutes, I received a call from the manager at Budget. Apparently, after researching my profile, she realized that: 1. I am a "Fast Break" member (their frequent renter program) and 2. I have been renting from Budget weekly here on the island over the last month. She politely informed me that I am valued customer and that there would be no charge, and that she already had sent someone to come open the car. Within 20 minutes, my car was unlocked and I was once again able to enter the omnipresent traffic en route to San Juan.
Summary: An excellent example of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in action:
Understanding the customer's situation
Recognition of customer "CLV - Customer Lifetime Value" / Segmentation
Appropriate Resolution / Offer
How can all this occur?
The application of the three critical elements that CRM must comprise:
People (employees are invested into the customer-centric perspective)
Process (following a specific process to ensure quality and delivery)
Technology (access to the right data at the right time)
We've opened up a new category here on the Solvis Consulting web site, to share and discuss anecdotes, advice, and general interest topics related to business travel and CRM in Latin America .
I've been traveling in Latin America for about 8 years now, based here in Miami, Florida. We've had CRM projects in Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Panama, etc. This blog could be filled with 100's of pages of various travel experiences in Latin America, but we'll keep it on a professional track and leave out the more ... well... interesting stories for another blog site!
Immigration stories, customs experiences, weekend excursions and culinary adventures. From getting a "special interview" in Miami International Airport because I was traveling to Medellin, Colombia, to eating Cuy (guinea pig) in a mountain village outside Quito, Ecuador. We hope to give you a bit of entertainment with this blog category.