Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Air France A380 Flight To New York: Premium Customer Experience

I have traveled a lot by plane to the US in my young career, as I have worked several times in the US. I got used to those long flights, and I got accustomed to it. But this, time, I had the opportunity to travel with the brand new A380 aircraft from Air France.

I knew the aircraft was great, but to be honest with you I did not expect anything special from this flight. Now there are a lot of very small details that made this flight pleasant and memorable:
  • You can actually see with a video placed at the end of the aircraft the take off and the landing. This is very exciting and new to me.
  • You have a large choice of multimedia activities: You don't have couple of movies but about twenty to pick from. You may start whenever you like the movie or stop it.
  • About the Air France airline, the crew was very nice. The food was great, and we weren't charge neither for pillows, sheets, nor headphones (which is pretty rare nowadays).

From my prospective, I have never really cared about the airline before. I did not see really much difference. But the last time I traveled to the US, I traveled with Air India, and that has just been the worst experience ever. Poor service, the aircraft was obsolete, and it was just horrible. It was by far the cheapest, but to be honest with you, I'd rather pay twice as much not to deal with that.

Now I believe that Air France and this flight is a great customer relationship management case study. Air France might be expensive, but they provided superior customer experience, by providing all those little services that makes the difference. By trying to cut costs too much, you make customer experience bad, and the facial value of what you pay is very low.

Those little snacks, those little attentions might actually not cost you that much, especially while you consider the added cost you charge, but it has a high facial value, and this is the reason why it is worth doing it.

Cuts costs = lowering facial value, instead of higher pricing + extra services = high facial value, which leads to customer satisfaction, and ultimately customer loyalty.

I recommend you if you have the opportunity to fly with this Airbus A 380 of Air France, trust me, it is worth it.