Customer Service – It’s the Little Things

In September last year I wrote a post about the low cost airline Ryanair. In the post I wrote about an announcement Michael O’Leary had made at their AGM where he said that Ryanair would be reforming it’s abrupt culture. You can see the post here.

Well, it’s now been almost a year since that announcement and I wanted to share some news with you.

I’ve recently re-located and my nearest airport is now Stansted, one of Ryanair’s main airports in the UK. After one flight with Ryanair around 5 years ago where I vowed never to step foot on one of their planes again (and pretty much kept that promise), I had no other choice than to use the airline recently for a work commitment.

There is only one word at the time that I could think of that described the experience – WOW! And that’s wow in a positive way.

What a change. what a turnaround.

Now, I know that from reading some articles that there are still people having a bad experience, I’ve only got one experience to compare this trip to. But, there were a number of little things that impressed me:

  • There was a member of crew on the stand next to the plane greeting people as they walked past
  • The crew member checked my boarding pass when I boarded, as they always do, but took my name from it and personally welcomed me aboard – nice touch
  • Whilst waiting for everyone to lift their bags into the overhead lockers while standing and talking in the aisle for a while, I was still just next to the door, the crew member asked me how my trip was. When I said it was for work, they continued to ask me about it
  • They also remembered this conversation 2 hours later when I deplaned. A quick ‘thank you and I hope you get to see more of the city on your next trip’
  • Everyone seemed pleasant. Smiling, saying please and thank you. Really warm and friendly

Small things.

Since that experience I’ve flown a few more times, and found this to be fairly consistent across all 4 journeys (8 if you count returns). OK, I did see a little abrupt behaviour when pretty much half of the plane still thought it was fight for any seat and nor realising Ryanair now does allocated seating. I think even the most zen like character might have got a little frustrated. I was frustrated just listening to it.

Just goes to show. Yes, you can make some big sweeping changes such as bringing in allocated seating. But, it’s the small things that make the biggest difference when it comes to good customer service and experience. The stuff that costs nothing.

Have you had a similar experience, or a nightmare with Ryanair or any other company? Tell us about it on our Facebook page by commenting on the post about this article. You can find it here.

Revolution Learning and Development works with companies to improve customer service. Find out more on our customer service training courses page.

Page image – Ryanair.com media centre

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