Hey wiki comics is advertising some pharmacy links you can find below. Sorry for any inconvenience. Hope you can understand... Links are below: Tadalafil Citrate | generic cialis 10 mg | tadalafil citrate 10mg | tadalafil citrate 5mg | generic cialis 40 mg |

Business - Written by on Monday, February 23, 2009 22:27 - 1 Comment

Trying to pull off an engaging customer experience

There are close parrells between elements of Wikinomics, the 8 Net Gen Norms, and engaging customer experiences. Where they often unite, naturally, is in countless firms’ customer service strategies. Much has been written about the success of the Southwest Airlines customer service model, which has been duplicated by Canadian air carrier WestJet. For anyone who hasn’t experienced it, the Southwest model centres on the customer experience through  engaging with passengers. They turned robotic flight attendants who were known for rhyming off memorized instruction into the airline industry’s most comical and animated personalities.

Their approach has been a critical part of Southwest’s success (and WestJet’s as well). One organization who has certainly attempted to duplicate the Southwest/WestJet approach is public transit organization GO Transit. GO Transit operates train transportation through a number of commuter routes in a 100 kilometer radius of downtown Toronto.

I have recently taken note of their new approach to engaging with their customers. On the GO Train, communication with passengers occurs over a PA system. It used to consist solely of monotonous reminders of upcoming station stops (eg “Hamilton this station stop…Hamilton”) and safety reminders (eg “Please stand clear of the yellow line…”). Then, suddenly and strangely, GO Transit ‘Customer Service Ambassadors’ (that’s the new title of the GO Transit employees who speak over the PA) came to life. It was clear that they had been given permission to stray from the old, scripted recitals and to try cracking jokes about travel delays or the weather. The trouble is that in Canada, living in -20 degree Celsius whether is something we’re proud to say we do, but not something that we find funny.

As a frequent GO Transit traveller, I really wish that this was an approach that fit. But it doesn’t. There are two key reasons why GO Transit’s use of “engaging” Customer Service Ambassadors (analgous to flight attendants) is ineffective and, honestly, unpleasant for the customer:

1. When Southwest and WestJet attendants engage with customers, customers have the opportunity to engage with them. In the case of GO Transit, Customer Service Ambassadors are visible to only the passengers seated near them (I’d imagine less than 5% on the average route). Because of this, their attempt at engaging with customers varies little from the one-way PA broadcasting of old. Unlike on planes, GO Transit customers cannot see or talk to Customer Service Ambassadors.

2. Most people do not want to be on the GO Train. Most experience the same route twice per weekday. Southwest and WestJet  benefit from the feelings of novelty held by their customers. For many of their customers, a flight is exciting and to be remembered. Because the same cannot be said of GO Transit passengers, Customer Service Ambassadors have little to speak jovially about. The result: vain attempts at making light of circumstances that passengers really don’t find amusing.

GO Transit would do well to reevaluate its customer service approach. It isn’t Southwest, nor is it WestJet. Yes, engaging customers should always be a key consideration for most any firm. However, as GO Transit has shown me, attempting to engage the customer cannot be done for the mere sake of it. Before tinkering with the customer experience, firms need to ask whether their service truly lends itself to an opportunity for enhanced engagement.

1 Comment

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Kyle Maxwell
Feb 27, 2009 10:56

Not sure I entirely agree here. That is, I’m sure that what they’re doing right now has the primary problem you discuss — people don’t think the whole thing is that funny — but that doesn’t change the fact that an old, traditional organization is trying to do something to become more personable.

The answer for them might not lie in just doing what those two airlines do, but that will probably help them get closer to the answer than just doing things the old way. Talking with a “human” voice rather than a corporate one gives them a great start.

Really, just the fact that they’re not reading scripts will help, of course, and they may even find a new way to go about things that creates a whole new way of looking at things, the way Southwest did many decades ago.

Now available in paperback!
Don Tapscott and Anthony D. William's latest collaboration, Macrowikinomics: New Solutions for a Connected Planet. Learn more.

Business - Oct 5, 2010 12:00 - 0 Comments

DRM and us

More In Business

Entertainment - Aug 3, 2010 13:14 - 2 Comments

Want to see the future? Look to the games

More In Entertainment

Society - Aug 6, 2010 8:19 - 4 Comments

The Empire strikes a light

More In Society