Harvard Business School Professor Rohit Deshpande discusses one airline that’s not just surviving the current downturn, but thriving: Singapore Airlines. Why is Singapore offering complimentary espresso on flights when others are charging for luggage and taking away in-flight movies? How has the company avoided the doom and gloom that so many other carriers face?
By staying out of what Deshpande says is a loser’s game of competing for customers on price, of treating them like commodities.
Singapore Airlines is a throwback, by design, to the days when flying was glamorous and customer service was king. They’ve created a luxury travel experience and retained the glamour of long-distance travel. It’s almost retro. Of course customers have to pay more for this experience, but most don’t mind. Flying has become so stressful, they’re willing to pay a little more for better experience.
Singapore Airlines brings its customer service focus to all cabins, even if it’s making its money off of the front of the plane. “They give more frills to economy than any airline,” he says. “They were the first in-seat TVs and offered more channels than any airline. They have, even in economy, more flight attendants per passenger.”
Singapore also goes against conventional wisdom by using the downturn as a time to make capital investments, not shun them. They buy airplanes at the downturn time as the supplier don’t have the buyer and they are willing to give it in discounted rate.
Singapore Airlines main strategy is to focus on customer satisfaction and not on price, they build customer loyalty and a solid business. They have always maintained the level of quality at all times and at areas. Where as other airlines they are focus on price and commodities and they fail at the time on downturn.
Singapore Airlines has evolved into one of the most respected travel brands around the world. They have one of the world’s youngest fleet in the air, a network spanning five continents, and the Singapore Girl as the symbol of quality customer care and service. Customers, investors, partners, and staff — everyone experience quality excellence. And so, in their lounges, their conferences, working relationships, and in the smallest details of flight, Singapore Airlines rise to each occasion and deliver the Singapore Airlines experience.
This proves that Customers buy solutions not the product. They buy the satisfaction and customer are loyal till you make them satisfied.
Listen to the IdeaCast for more from Professor Deshpande on Singapore Airlines’ winning strategy.