Ryanair have just been announced as the worst brand for customer service out of Britain’s 100 biggest brands, according to the readers of Which? You might not be surprised – they’ve developed quite a reputation for their attitude to customers, and many of us have ‘experienced’ it – or know someone who has!
So, how come they are so successful? People are still booking, they’re expanding, and their profits are up! Surely it goes against everything that people like me ‘rant on about’ – winning businesses deliver outstanding customer service, they create ‘remarkable’ customer experiences, they even ‘delight’ their customers!
Well, I think that Michael O’Leary and his Ryanair team do a very clever trick – they do ‘exceed their customers expectations’ (which is what customer delight is all about!)
How do they do it? They LOWER their customer expectations so much that it’s easy to exceed them!
Think about it… you pay your money (ok, it’s plus admin fees, card charges and taxes, but it’s still cheap!) and if they deliver you to the city they said they would (or within 50 odd miles of it!), within the time frame they’ve stated (have they added a bit of time just to ensure they hit their targets?), you didn’t get a verbal mugging from the staff you’ve heard so such about, and your bags are there all in one piece, then you are ‘Delighted‘!!!
Ryanair work on the principle that the vast majority of their customers recognise that by paying low(ish) prices, they will forfeit a great customer experience. You can’t help thinking that they do it in a slightly arrogant (and perhaps unnecessary) way. For example, this was their response to Which?’s report… A spokesman said…
Saying that, they do seem to have finally recognised that they may have a bit of a problem! At the company’s recent Annual General Meeting, Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said “We should try to eliminate things that unnecessarily piss people off,” and indicated that they are going to overhaul their website, set up a new team to respond to emails and stop fining customers whose carry-on baggage exceeds minimum sizes by a matter of millimetres! It’s ‘Revolutionary’ stuff!
Michael O’Leary went on to say “A lot of those customer services elements don’t cost a lot of money … It’s something we are committed to addressing over the coming year,”
Hope that this hasn’t raised your expectations!
For more ideas on customer delight (not necessarily like Ryanair!), you can download this FREE 44 page ebook ‘Customer Delight As Competitive Advantage!