Get Ready For The Impact

Have you whispered a quiet prayer during takeoff or landing? Despite the fact that everyone knows that flying is statistically the safest form of transport there is, many of us are still nervous in aircraft.  We are humans, not birds, we don’t fly and there is something innately unsettling about finding ourselves in such an unnatural habitat. So, flying can be stressful and when you get a plane full of stressed individuals all sharing a confined space and all armed with smartphones to vent their anxiety on social networks, the smallest irritation can become a major crisis.

Airlines promise to deliver passengers to their destinations safely and on time.  Safety is a given and everyone’s first priority but when it comes to punctuality things are often out of their control and customer expectations need to be carefully managed.

Expectations this is the magic word here. A company has to deliver the value that has been promised and if it fails to the complaints start and the whole team has to work together to mitigate the damages. Social media has changed everything and the customer’s voice is now heard throughout the company as many people receive the claim and become involved in the response: the customer service team, the social media team, the PR team (because journalists love to pick up on tweets in the social media), hell, even CEO’s can be tagged in social media posts. A small mistake or even a spot of bad weather can become a huge storm for an airline. If you work in an airline you always have to be ready to adopt the brace position. Every step has to be considered and anticipated, every scenario must have been worked out and contingencies need to be in place to ensure consistency of messages throughout the company.

Honesty is the second key word, one of the most delicate assets for any brand is trust. It’s takes years to build and can be lost in a second. It doesn’t matter how hard you work if you don’t keep your promises or the other person feels that you are not being honest everything trust will vanish. Honesty is the basis on which trust is built and it must be evident in every message and the customer must receive the same message from every channel. In today’s always-on, multi-device, multimedia and multi-channel world message consistency is a real challenge and requires a global plan and strict control of internal communications.

If you ever work in an airline, as I did before joining Interface Tourism, make sure you have a plan and are ready to use it at any time. Expect the unexpected and always be prepared for the impact that will inevitably come at the worst possible moment. You never know what’s next, so you have to trust your team, love your customers and remember that It doesn’t matter which department you work in, you are always serving the customer whether you are explaining something to a journalist or fixing something on a plane. Above all, don’t forget to be kind, even when you are in the middle of a big storm kindness and empathy always help to spread the message, believe me I tested it on many a crisis.

So, if you’re working for an airline, be ready, work consistently, share information with your colleagues and remember to always be kind with everyone. Come to think of it, these tips should be useful for any company not just an airline, don’t you think? Let’s try it!

By Aida Tazón

PR & Communications Team

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