Jan Carlson who was regarded as being a little ahead of his time when he ran SAS had this theory about providing a customer experience that was consistent at every touchpoint. So that whenever SAS touched a customer the customer felt special.
He even wrote a book in which case he described the touch point as a "Moment of Truth" about it. His famous presentation is on the web.
In today's web world - there are many more opportunities for touching the customer. And many more occasions when you will screw up.
Last year the Ash Cloud and the Inclement Weather forced the airlines to change what they do and how they do it. Not that these events were unique in themselves but how the airlines who have reduced their customer service personnel significantly in recent years needed to respond differently. AND better. As I have written before they have done a good job - at least they are getting better. Airlines are notoriously bad at this. Their customer service people act as if they are all knowing and frequently as I can attest - they have the wrong position.
Just last week - the (AF/KL owned) Cobalt team at LHR handling DL refused to fix a problem that was so patently the fault of the airline. Only when I insisted on getting the lone DL rep did we get a better result. And hats off to the DL supervisor who spent more than 20 mins fixing the problem caused by a simple mistake by a res agent.
This flies in the face of the current Delta Airlines ad campaign that talks about its great people. Yes WHEN its a Delta person. But a significant percentage of those "Moments of Truth" are NOT in the control of the airline itself. And boy is that obvious!
There is a good article on this topic of marketing to a customer at each and every touchpoint. Go to emarketer.
However here is a word of caution. Dont assume that just because you can - that the customer welcomes that moment of marketing.
Interestingly it seems that both Google's Chrome and Firefox browsers are competing with each other to remove personal information from browsing sessions.
Anonymous moments of truth... now there's a thought.