Posted: June 20th, 2021

Southwest Airline Case Study

BUS 330 Writing Assignment The paper is about how the airline company named as the Southwest Airlines has been able to cater to the needs of the customers while still holding a greater market share in the Airline industry specifically during the economic crises phase. Q1: As a high – contact service provider, how does Southwest Airlines ensure that its employees satisfy the customer? As far as the employee training is concerned, the employees are extensively trained so as such to ensure that they are able to satisfy the arising concerns and needs of the customers effectively and efficiently.
They are actually made to practically exercise resolving complaints and other service problems on the spot. Moreover the employees are made to look professional and behave in a professional manner because they have to deal directly with the customer. One-on-one communication and query handling requires good communication and interpersonal skills to ensure the supreme satisfaction of the customers and their complaints. Otherwise; the demand for their product will eventually die out. The product that this airline is offering is a travel solution for the customers; with the standards set as the low airfares and high service standards.
They provide attentive service to the customers in the sky and on the ground and see every flight as an opportunity to underpin and reinforce its reputation for a friendly service that caters to all the flight related concerns of the employees. Another point mentioned in the case is that this Southwest Airlines has a mission statement as: delivering the services with a smile shows that the airline genuinely cares about the customers. A cultural committee is appointed at the headquarters that enables to keep the service spirit alive.

Moreover for every airport, they have these committees that ensure service spirit eventually upgrading the customer service area. Furthermore, there are maintenance facilities available across the country. The services of the employees are appraised as per performance and their relationship with customers. Actually these achievements are celebrated for that employee especially who provides outstanding service. This helps in employee retention and satisfaction to remain as a part of that network. Moreover an example can be quoted from the case itself that; the events or the employee appreciation are held around the country such as incoming flight passengers surprisingly with the crew members bringing along the cookies and milk. This shows a small gesture of appreciation and employee motivation. The concept of team work and tolerance is one of the most important concepts to be inculcated in the people who are being hired for serving the customers. Only those people are hired who can communicate, correspond and behave in a friendly manner and work cooperatively with their colleagues.
Q2: What experience qualities might weigh most heavily in customers evaluations of the services delivered by the Southwest Airlines? What are the implications for the airline’s service marketing efforts? Actually from the perspective of the customer, it is the product that holds the greatest importance; however the product placement along with the services is the best combination to attract a bunch of customers. Mainly there are two important things that help a company to remain at a competitive position in the market; cost leadership and differentiation.
Basically Southwest Airlines is catering to both these requirements to strengthen its stature in the market as one of the most competitive airlines. The Southwest airline was able to control their fuel costs and gained a greater market share while most of its competitors had to shrink their schedules and eventually tightening their belts. It was usually seen that the competitive airlines have been facing the issue of high fuel rates and eventually the lower demand, because they are forced to charge extra fee from the customers for checking baggage and other services.
However, Southwest Airline has tried to manage the lower costs and avoids charging extra fee for every facility and has offered a bundled service pack, as compared to the competitors; who have been unbundling the price and product. Bundling gives an edge to accommodate some of the extra charges and help the company as well as the customers. However since the seats are not reserved thus the airline also gives the chance to the passengers to jump forward on the flight, but for this service an amount is charged.
Moreover instead of charging higher prices Southwest Airline accommodates the customers’ needs by providing bundles that are valued by the flyers. Some suggestions will be enhancing the expenditure on the advertisements and more promotional activities. The concentration on the actual and the augmented product will help the company in giving something extra and different to the customers. Cutting the costs and lowering prices will help in maintaining the customer demand for the brand product. Product pricing and the core product should be given eminent importance.
Possibly, linking with a Public Relations organization will help increase the popularity of the products and services being offered by Southwest Airlines. Q3: What is Southwest Airline doing to manage the customer’s service expectations? In order to manage the expectations of the customers regarding the services provided by the airline, some new features have been introduced like the “bags fly free” campaign that enables the loading of first two items of checked baggage of the customers on the fare for free.
Another more attracting feature is the “Business select” airfare, where the priority boarding is bundled as such that the customers are offered a free drink along with extra frequent flyer points at a slightly higher price. These points can be used later on any time. Moreover, if the business selects customer to fly on the scheduled flight then the airfare is applied to the cost of a later travelling schedule at any time in the next year. This is one of the main features that make the bundled services attractive to the customers. They use price bundling as an edge to keep the customers coming in and maximize on their profits.
The annual profits since the previous 35 years have shown a remarkable record, in a row. However since the running of an airline is not an easy task which involves a lot of finances and efficiency, Southwest Airlines have made it through mainly by keeping the customers satisfied and have maximized their profits on the customer service side. The stock symbol is LUV, which of course is a very attractive caption, and the company aims at making the customers come back to them and use their services by ensuring that the customers remain smiling all the way long. Therefore they will eventually come back for the LUV.
Conclusion The main aspect for an airline is to make sure that the travellers remain happy and are treated properly because at the end of the day, it is the service that an airline provides to a customer by charging an amount of money; therefore the overall experience has to be made pleasant and memorable positively. Failing to do so will eventually lead the company to die a natural death. Reference Guardian Company; (2013); US airline complaints rose 20% last year, Transport Study; United Kingdom http://www. guardian. co. uk/business/2013/apr/08/theairlineindustry-air-transport

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