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MARKETING CASE STORIES

COPYRIGHT 1996 - 2008
4/6/08

South Western Airlines


A long time ago and a short time ago. In a place both near and far away a professor was given a ticket by his son to visit his son's grandmother in Florida. The father and son went on South West Airlines. During the trip the stewardess's were extremely clever and funny. Everyone was happy to listen to their comedy. At the end of the flight the professor and his son were the last to get off the plane. The professor told the stewardess he was a marketing professor and if she made up her own humor and jokes. She said that they had flexibility. He then asked a second question. The stewardess was not interested in answering and said please disembark from the plane. He said to his son did you see that as a complete change in corporate personality? His son said yes and he was surprised.

Coming back on South Western the steward was very efficient. He came down the row and asked what people wanted to drink. He took no notes and got it right. I asked him how does he do this? He said he had a system and he would tell me when he got some time. He never came back or said a thing.

Marketing Application INDIVIDUAL

If the joking and friendly behavior of South Western Airlines employees is not part of their real personalities and just a marketing trick they are in trouble. I said to my son suppose that they reveal their real personality to one person per flight. Multiply that by the number of flights per year and you have a very big number of people. If these people believe that this humor is a deception then it will fail as a marketing story.

If you promise a customer something and cannot deliver when they are leaving the plane it would be appropriate to say sorry I did not have time to tell you the secret because I got very busy. I would not question that he did not remember that he had told me he would tell me. If he could remember 30 drinks he could remember he told me he would let me know the system.
So I personally had two strange experiences on South Western Airlines. They claim exceptional customer service as part of their marketing. Would I go on South Western again? Yes, if the price was right. After that if the changes in general and personal behavior continued I would have fears to go again.