Everyone was surprised to hear the longer than usual customer service announcement as we were preparing to land in Los Angeles. Many people on board were catching connecting flights to different cities in Australia, and there’s always a little anxiety amongst passengers who are trying to make those connections. The typical announcement informs passengers to check the departures board or see the ground crew on arrival at the gate. This one was different.
The Qantas Customer Service Manager directed us to turn left at the top of the airbridge. He let us know that the aircraft for our connecting flights were in bays close by and told us exactly how far we’d have to walk. He gave us gate numbers and approximate time from our landing to the next flights departing.
The effect of his thoughtful service was magic. Passengers relaxed, their anxiety immediately dissipated. The atmosphere on board was happy and calm. Now instead of having to repeat the same message to different passengers twenty times over, the crew was free to prepare for landing. All because people were seen and understood and their unmet needs were anticipated and fulfilled.
We spent an estimated $600 billion on marketing and advertising in 2017. An Airbus A380 costs half a billion dollars. The cost of this announcement to Qantas is zero. The return on a five-minute investment in happy passengers who remain loyal to the airline is exponential.
Not all marketing investment has a price tag. There’s a lot we can do to help our businesses to be more successful that costs nothing but the willingness to be more human.
Image by Bernard Oh