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Monday, March 22, 2010

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the service.

I took two flights today on the same airline, but the cabin crews were dramatically different service providers.

I heard an early, subtle indicator of the difference between the experiences the two teams provided.

Upon departure of the first flight, the flight attendant, while giving her standardized exit speech, concluding by saying, “Enjoy the flight”.

A completely different speech was delivered on the second flight. Almost all of the same words were used, yet it was delivered in a with feeling and humanity that told us that we would be taken care of. The only difference in verbiage between the two, was that on the second flight, the flight attendant didn’t ask us to enjoy the flight, substituting instead, “Enjoy the service.” The experience matched the early promise

It’s a small change with a dramatic difference.

No one enjoys the necessary physical act of airborne transportation - at least not commercial transportation. The in-flight service associated with it, however, can be enjoyed or not, and it’s the most significant attribute a cabin crew can control that causes travelers to choose one airline over another.

The words we use are physical evidence, every bit the cue to the coming experience as a rusty aircraft with broken seats would be. While you can only script so much before the delivery becomes impersonal rote, focus instead on how you talk about your experience internally, when no one else is around.

Are you managing flight ops, pushing tin, or are you putting care teams in operation to serve traveler guests?

Are you measuring revenue passenger miles, arguing that it's standard industry convention, or are you measuring the number of traveler guests served and their net promoter score?

They way we talk internally, when no one else around, absolutely comes through in service delivery.

It's the difference between the unlikelihood of enjoying a flight and the possibility of enjoying the service.

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