How to…

How to ensure satisfaction

October 02 2019

Experience guru Keith Yates has worked with a host of top-ranked airlines and high-end hotels. Julie Baxter asked him the secret to great service

Understand the trend
There has been a move away from luxury products towards the luxury journey. Yates explains: “Customers today are more motivated by memorable, emotional experiences, inspired moments of hospitality.”

Focus on need
He believes this means passengers have three key requirements inflight: to be listened to; to feel recognised, and to be made to feel special. “This can be applied to an experience in Economy just as much as in premium cabins – it is about reaching out and touching the human spirit,” he says, citing Garuda, awarded five-star, World’s Best Cabin Crew and number one for Economy in 2014. “They simply focused on reaching out and touching the human spirit to achieve this remarkable outcome.”

Understand hospitality
Yates notes: “Hospitality is the new buzz word. Everyone wants to be a hospitality provider. This simply means making customers feel ‘included’. People want to feel included, connected, and the future is all about connection. Presence is everything. Ensuring your crew are truly present is the secret for success.”

Learning is key
The first five minutes are the most important. “That is when customers are deciding if they made the right decision to fly with you or not. So create hospitality moments and engage immediately,” says Yates. “Mindset training helps your crew value including, connecting and interacting in a genuine, fluid way. There’s such beauty in this simplicity.”

Evolve the model
In the longer term, Yates believes the service model should change. “Halt the routines, burn the trolleys and throw away the trays. Dine on demand is the most exciting ingredient in long-haul premium travel. Customers who have experienced it, love it. It is a real breakthrough for customer happiness. It is hard to deliver as we have to engage, listen and react but ultimately it saves on food cost, generates far less waste, and pushes satisfaction scores up. Move away from dine on crew demand and watch how that impacts your NPS scores.”