How Lufthansa Handles Customer Fairness


"Everything you do as a business includes multiple choices for your customers. It doesn’t matter if you give them the choices – they have the choices. Features, benefits, prices, promises, support, etc." [Jason F., 37Signals]

Whenever I travel to Europe, which I plan to do more often for work in the next couple of years, my airline of choice is Lufthansa. Why? Because they eliminate confusion in how handle their business and customer conversations.

People do have choices and your business handling of how it delivers its product and service makes a big difference.

Case in point was an unscheduled change of planes last week in Frankfurt.

A mechanical issue had the airline change the plane it was going to use for the portion of the trip from Frankfurt to Philadelphia. That meant there were also going to be fewer seats on the plane, which was completely booked.

The ground crew handling the communication about the change, and answering customer questions handled the situation professionally. Everyone spoke confidently and clearly, listened patiently, and explained the situation calmly throughout the two-hour wait before boarding, in some cases going over the same information with the same people twice, or three times.

It was not an easy task to face a crowd of upset passengers — whether frustrated, nervous, or angry, people become taxing at such times. Every inquiry was handled the same, every customer had every reason to feel special and heard.

Since I fly this airline regularly, I could tell they had doubled the number of staff at the gate to handle the predictable number of inquiries and workload generated by the change, which was brought about by the airline.

The captain apologized for the extra time it took to board, even though we left almost on time and arrived on time at the scheduled destination.

Having traveled abroad on other airlines, I go out of my way to select Lufthansa whenever I can. They fly to over 200 destinations. The staff and crew understand the value of professional service and deliver on their brand promise, as they illustrate in this short video:

  • value for money
  • individual caring
  • quality promise
  • leadership

I have flown with most of the Star Alliance airlines and I am comfortable saying Lufthansa rises to the top. My one negative experience with the airline last year was due to the Philadelphia airport ground staff doing the check in who was not Lufthansa personnel.

Also interesting to note the language they inserted on the sidebar of their USA Twitter account about handling customer service inquiries there. It reminded me of my post on fair and not special in social media.

Delivering on your promises doesn't involve grand gestures that will get you written up in Time magazine. It means getting the small things right with customers.



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