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How Can My Airline Benefit from Mystery Shopping?

Like any other service intended for the public, it is vital for airlines to test their level of customer service. Perhaps more than any other industry in the hospitality category, the airline companies have to fight hard for their share of the market. With many companies going bust because of the economic slump, airline companies are fine-tuning their customer services to try and keep their business as competitive as possible. In today’s competitive environment, consumers are more selective and have fewer dollars to spend, so bad customer service just won’t fly.

CHICAGO - JULY 15:  A passenger checks in for ...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Airline mystery shopping is designed to give airlines an evaluation of their customer service through a fresh pair of eyes. Airline mystery shopping is a way of finding out exactly what kind of treatment the airline passengers are getting and enables the airline companies to identify weak points in their service. Furthermore, it can serve as a baseline for managers to reward exceptional employees, which in itself provides an incentive to other airline employees to treat every customer as a potential mystery shopper.

Here are some typical things secret shoppers look out for on a  airline assignment:

  • Look/Appearance of terminal or airplane interior
  • Cleanliness
  • Personal appearance of employees
  • Helpfulness of employees
  • Handicap accessibility
  • Restroom facilities

The compilation of data you receive from the mystery shopping company can help you:

  • Determine areas of weakness and strength in your operations
  • Identify how your agents react in specific situations (flight changes, unruly flyers, etc)
  • Develop, refine, or evaluate a training program
  • Create an incentive program for your employees for perform well
  • Creating new criteria for managers’ bonuses

Many many airlines fall short of providing good customer service because their the higher ups forget that realize that at the heart of the service, travel is spiritual, not mechanical. A great customer service experience (or a bad one) can solidify an airline’s brand as a good or bad organization.  Hence, one single experience can make or break your brand in the perception of the consumer. With mystery shopping, you can start to understand and define that perception – and that of your competitors.

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