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A New Approach To Customer Service @ FR

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  • 1. A New Approach to Customer Service Changing the Service Culture at Ryanair
  • 2. The Consultancy Team
    • Beatrice Gabriela Nicolae – Part I
    • Hans Ajay Bhargava – Part II
    • Adam Marriott – Part III
    • Magdalena Anna Fas – Part IV
  • 3. Agenda
    • I The importance of customer service
    • II Creating a customer service culture
    • III Implementing a programme of culture change
    • IV Future benefits and potential pitfalls
  • 4. The Importance of Customer Service
    • This presentation will assess Ryanair in terms of customer service delivery, drawing a broader picture of its culture and analyzing whether it would be more profitable for the airline to change its structure, all considering the impact this could have.
  • 5. The Importance of Customer Service
    • Southwest reinvented air travel thirty-eight years ago with its low fares and irreverent style, making flying an event. Today, it still succeeds in keeping air fares down by achieving low costs and satisfying customers and also has the best productivity and safety records in the industry.
  • 6. The Importance of Customer Service
    • At Ryanair, even if it uses Southwest’s pioneering model, customer service does not have to be serious, it is not bound by rules and the customer does not always have to be right. Even so, it keeps winning awards and customers, all thanks to its lowest fares and the highest frequency. The low-fare phenomenon championed by Ryanair has revolutionised European air travel, being a very dynamic company that shown the way everyone has followed.
  • 7. The Importance of Customer Service
    • When Ryanair flights first took off in the mid-1980s, its staff were encouraged to provide high quality customer service and told that being rude to passengers was a sacking offence. Ryanair slowly changed into a functioning and efficient airline that cared little about pleasing its passengers at any other level. Later, it started to face improvements in the way it dealt with its customers, accepting the need for customer responsibility, though not in the way SWA is well known.
  • 8. The Importance of Customer Service Nowadays, customer service is of great importance for airlines that require a price for their tickets.
  • 9. The Importance of Customer Service Ryanair has made air travel affordable for everyone, promising to offer to the public more and more of its seats for free. All these things, including customer service delivery, do not cost anything, but at the end they could make all the difference to the customers and their experience of the airline.
  • 10. Creating an Excellent Customer Service Culture
    • Ryanair now: Efficiency-driven, cost-cutting culture
    •  value-driven, customer-focused culture
    • Establish core values around which business is conducted
        • JetBlue: Safety, Integrity, Care, Fun, Passion
        • Southwest: Honesty, Ethics, Trustworthiness, Community
        • Easyjet: Integrity, Passion, Teamwork
    • Leadership commitment
        • Lead by example, inspire employees to support your strategic goals
        • Create belief system within the company
  • 11. Creating an Excellent Customer Service Culture
    • Setting up Policies & Standards
        • Know what costumers want & set up targets to achieve
        • Create standards according to which staff need to conduct themselves
        • Hire the right people
        • Reward employees for providing excellent customer service
  • 12. Creating an Excellent Customer Service Culture
    • Setting up Policies & Standards (ctd.)
        • Create “Customer Care Policy”
          • Dedicated, non-premium rate service hotline
          • Online contact form for customer feedback
          • Acknowledge customer feedback
          • Be accessible
        • Foster an “advocate” relationship with your customers as opposed to a “destroyer” relationship
  • 13. Creating an Excellent Customer Service Culture
    • How can you measure progress?
        • Hand out in-flight surveys
        • Analyse customer feedback (positive & negative)
        • Analyse feedback from cabin crew & other staff
        • Use data from external sources, e.g. CAA, AEA
        • Management observations
        • Reports from competitors
  • 14. Implementing a Programme of Culture Change
    • The quality of our work depends on the quality of our people
    • How do you improve the quality of employees?
      • Development of Key Customer Service Skills
        • Training
        • Communication
      • Improvement of Employee Attitude
        • Respect and Trust
        • Employee Empowerment
        • Recognition and Praise
        • Teambuilding and a Sense of Pride
    • Mission: Developing the most efficient and effective way of improving service quality through cultural change
  • 15. Implementing a Programme of Culture Change
      • Communication skills
        • Friendliness
        • Effective use of body language
        • Language and Tone
        • Make service personal
      • Listening skills
        • Helpfulness
        • Understanding – Main Ideas and Specifics
      • Initiative
        • Anticipate customers' problems
        • Apologise and correct a mistake rather than hiding behind company policies
    Key Customer Service Skills
      • Flexibility
        • Adapt to a customer’s unique needs and changing circumstances
        • Willing to take the customer's feedback and act on it
      • Problem solving skills
        • Effective complaint handling skills
        • Prioritise time to understand a customer's needs and wants.
      • Professionalism
        • Good product knowledge
        • Courtesy
        • Being direct and expressive
        • Respect for customer, team members, company, and competitors demonstrates confidence in self and the organisation
  • 16. Implementing a Programme of Culture Change
    • Employee Attitude
        • Recognition and Praise
          • Let employees know that they are important to the success of the company
          • Reward for adding value to services
        • Teambuilding and a Sense of Pride
          • Social Events
          • Resolving team conflicts
          • Treat each employee fairly
          • Provide frequent support to employees
    • Empowerment
          • Respect and Trust
          • Sense of responsibility
          • Inform staff of why excellent customer service is vital
    “ An employee 's motivation is a direct result of the sum of interactions with his or her manager.” Bob Nelson
  • 17. Implementing a Programme of Culture Change
    • Why Implement Changes?
    • Significant Improvements
      • Perception of Ryanair – A more approachable Airline
      • Reputation – Improvement of brand through improvement of customer service appearance. “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavour to be what you desire to appear.” Socrates
      • Motivation of Employees – Through recognition and praise
      • Employee productivity – Through feedback and training sessions
    Changes cost to implement. With Ryanair’s no frills attitude introducing new customer service skill programs may seem too costly. However, the benefits can be seen from airlines such as Southwest and more recently Easyjet both of which are increasingly customer focused while still maintaining profit
  • 18. Future Benefits & Potential Pitfalls
    • What’s the gain from a customer service upgrade?
    • Why Ryanair could potentially lose more than gain?
  • 19. Future Benefits & Potential Pitfalls
    • Customer services up-grade – benefits:
    • “ always put your customers first and they will happily come back” – a stable customer base secured
    • a softer image in the media
    • lower spend on law suits
    • potentially more satisfied staff
  • 20. Future Benefits & Potential Pitfalls
    • On the other side:
    • Increased costs associated to staff training, customer relationship development programs, etc.
    • Higher fares – possible loss of present customer base
    • Brand dilution
  • 21. Future Benefits & Potential Pitfalls
    • Brand dilution – how FR could lose more than the gain is worth?
    • One of the strongest brands on the European market:
      • Simple & straightforward
      • Cheap basic services
      • “ Frills” at a charge
      • Extensive European network
  • 22. Future Benefits & Potential Pitfalls
    • Brand dilution – cont.
    • These attributes are what customers grew used to
    • Most of FR customers will forego the “frills” in order to get a cheap fare
    • Service improvement programmes may create a kind of cognitive dissonance amongst the public
  • 23. Future Benefits & Potential Pitfalls
    • To summarise
      • Pro
        • strong correlation between customer service and customer loyalty  customer satisfaction
        • motivation = pride
      • Con
        • costs for changing culture are high, timing is not right
        • very lengthy process
  • 24. End of Presentation
    • Thank you for your time
    • Q & A