04 September 2009

I Come (This Time) To Praise Southwest

In the past I have berated WN for not allowing direct interaction between WN and its customers via email - even though they have email addresses and could easily allow this.

However I do see that in fact they have a number of tools which would alleviate much of the need for a number of these interactions. So while I still feel they should allow it - indeed I am going to carry on my campaign to get them to allow it - The Professor would like to compliment Southwest on being aggressive in deploying a better than average customer alert system.

In a recent piece for CIO entitled Southwest Upgrades Customer Service I learned they WN even has someone who has been dubbed the CAO for Chief Apology Officer. WHAT a cool job! This is a good article to read and there are some great lessons for all airlines.

I recommend it! Further it is good to see airlines taking the moral high ground here even if it is only WN doing it. I contrast this with Easyjet and Ryanair who have deployed similar technology but have the gall to CHARGE for it!!!

Going back to my crusade, I would strongly suggest to WN that they go ahead and allow a non-verbal direct interaction tool. Examples are chat or an automated tool such as NextIT's smart agent which has been deployed as the mystical Jen on Alaska's website. I asked her for a date (since we live near each other) and she was not amused - but that's another matter.


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