Due service and the products offered to the customers

Due to globalization and competition in any service industry, customer satisfaction plays a highly important role. It is the key to success which is crucially influenced by the customer service. It is used as an indicator to assess customer loyalty and helps to identify the unhappy customers. It also helps to reduce the churn rate and increase the revenue. Any business organization can stand out in a competition by differentiating itself from the other organizations by providing better quality and service. It is vital to have customer satisfaction to develop a good reputation. With a good reputation, the airline creates good word of mouth, which helps to attract new customers and retain the existing ones. With more satisfied customers, the airline will generate more revenue and will be able to operate profitably. The aim of this essay is to understand the importance of customer satisfaction in the airline industry and how quality customer service and the products offered to the customers keeping in mind the passengers’ requirements help the airline to be the winner. In this highly competitive environment, there is a necessity of high-quality customer service in the airline industry to gain a competitive edge. The profitability of the organization depends mostly on customer satisfaction; however, it is not that easy as it is decided by the customers’ perception and experience (Hersh, 2010). The foundation of the airline organization is based on satisfied customers, as it leads to repeat purchases, brand loyalty, and positive word of mouth. Hill, N. Brierley, J. and MacDougall, R. (1999), explicates the reasons why and how to measure customer satisfaction. Their book explains that a customer satisfaction measurement program should be developed to understand how customers discern the particular organization and whether its services and products meet their expectations or not. Once the airline comprehends the expectations of the passengers, they develop the plan of action and ways to achieve the passenger’s needs. Once the airline company handles the CSM well, the service improvement goals are set and progress is monitored against the customer satisfaction index. As a result, the airline increases its profits through making improvement in customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty. Elements of service required for satisfaction: According to Services marketing: Integrating customer focus across the firm, the judgement of the customer towards the product’s quality which is defined as service quality acts as one of the important determinants of brand loyalty (Zeithaml et al, 2009). For an airline to survive and flourish, the crucial strategy is service quality, which decides the purchase behaviour and the performance of the organization (Zeithaml et al., 1996). The popular model widely used to study the service quality developed by Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry (1988) is based on five elements. A. Reliability: The performance of the airline should be consistent and accurate. The employees should be trained to deliver the correct and effective services to the passengers. B. Responsiveness: The airline and its employees should be willing to help and ready to serve the passengers and should provide prompt and timely services on-board ad at the airport rather than ignoring the passengers and leaving them waiting. C. Assurance: The staff should assure that they possess the desired skills, knowledge, and are courteous towards their duties. D. Empathy: The airline staff should know to show the concern, empathize with the passengers individually, and caring as well. E. Tangibles: This includes the physical evidence of service such as the appearance of personnel and the equipment used. Apart from this model, the service which can make overall experience convenient for the customer is the introduction of smart self-service. In today’s era of technology, customers prefer to use existing text or chat apps, using which they can search and book flights, get notifications and avail customer service, this all helps in revenue and customer satisfaction.  Elements of the products required for satisfaction: The customer satisfaction equally depends on providing the products to the customers based on their requirements. This way, the airline organization achieves the higher level of customer satisfaction and also improves the service quality efficiently. Identifying the passenger’s needs is not the only criteria to achieve customer satisfaction by the airlines, but they need to learn to prioritize them (Shaw. S, 2004). The one of the elements which can help in achieving customer satisfaction is quality of services. It includes check-in service, in-flight service, food and beverage on board and ground handling service, which influences the passenger’s decision making. Some passengers even prefer to pay higher for the good services of the airline over any other airline. The other element is location as the passengers look for easy access and convenience to reach the airline offices and the agencies. The reasonably priced airfare is the another important factor to attract a larger number of passengers for a particular airline to stay in competition with the other competitors. The another competitve element is the layout and entertainment service. It inlcudes the interior design of the aircraft, the uniform of air hostess, the seating comfort on board, a separate cabin to allow for sleep and work, meal quality and in-flight entertainment. Loyalty programs in the form of VIP cards or other methods such as coupons, vouchers, discounts, higher priority pass, free gifts, frequent flyer program are offered to the passengers as additional benefits to retain them. In today’s busy schedule and uncertainty of the travelers, the ‘frequency and timings’ plays a major role in achieving customer satisfaction. The airlines with high frequency will have pivotal advantages. Moreover, the flight’s timings play is an important consideration for the travelers to travel on short notice and who wants to make day-return trips. Moreover, no airline can retain or gain the passengers with the poor punctuality reputation. The flight delays not just cause inconvenience and missed appointments, but result in the loss of customers. Punctuality plays a significant role for the connecting passengers as they have to connect with the next flight. Apart from the frequency, a significant consideration required to achieve customer satisfaction is that the availability of direct and non-stop flights for the long-haul routes. To conclude, the airlines with better service and quality products offered to the customers succeed in achieving customer satisfaction. The higher satisfied customers mean more business and revenue to the company as they get more passengers through a good word of mouth by the existing frequent passengers. Customer satisfaction is directly related to the services and products offered to the passengers depending on the passenger’s needs which include but not limited to the airfare, attitude of employees, connectivity, frequency, check-in and in-flight services, loyalty programs. To stay in competition, the airlines should consider and pay more attention to all the elements of services and products to build bond with the passengers, ultimately profitable business and good reputation of an organization. The only way for an airline to run smoothly and to make profit is to keep the customers happy.