Qantas Airlines is one of the leading and most highly developed airlines in Australia. The company was established in 1920, and has experienced rapid growth that has seen it grow from a simple company transporting passengers in two sitter planes to one that owns a fleet of more than 147 large passenger planes (Qantas, 2013). The company is well known for offering quality service to its clients and has received various awards in relation to this. This paper analyses the customer service provided by the company and its suitability to the market needs of the customer.
In order for any company to be able to fully meet the needs of its customer, market research is a key factor that should be undertaken with outmost care, as it’s the means by which the company will be able to determine the exact needs of the market. Qantas mainly uses customer feedback as a way of ascertaining the customer needs. The Qantas customer service charter (Qantas, 2013), clearly expresses the importance of customer feedback on the services offered such feedback is then analyzed by the company and necessary changes made to make sure that the customer needs are met.
The company also has put in place measures to ensure the consistency in the service provided. The company maintains a large fleet of state of the art planes, which are regularly maintained and serviced to ensure total safety. In addition to this, the company has more than 35000 highly trained employees, and a full time customer care center (Qantas, 2013). There are also certain distinctive features associated with the Qantas airlines that are visible proof of their dedication to top notch customer service; one of this is the innovative cost leadership plans, the company operates low cost carrier jet star (Airline leader, 2012). This enables the company to cater for different customer segments. The company is also big on delivering timely service, the company does its best to ensure that there are no flight delays, and in the unlikely event that there is any, the company takes measures to ensure that the customer are informed in advance and even provide accommodation and meals in case of longer delays. The quality of the service rendered by the company is also commendable in terms of meeting customer needs. Ranging from ultra modern in flight entertainment systems to one of the best safety records in the entire airline industry, the airline strives to ensure that its customer service is indeed among the best.
Qantas has a comprehensive customer service policy explaining its dedication to the provision of high quality service to its customers. The policy explains the company’s dedication to safety, commitment to timely delivery, actions that would be taken in case of special situations and among other things the company’s customer care contacts (Qantas, 2013).
In line with its status as a market leader, Qantas has a highly trained and dedicated workforce. The company has over 35000 employees who are thoroughly trained and retrained where necessary in order to perform according to the standards of the organization. The airline has two training bases in Sidney and Melbourne (Qantas, 2013), which train more than 12000 people annually, including pilots and flight attendants. The training has been specially designed to suit the needs of the airline of maintaining safety; pilots are provided with flight simulators and are equipped with skills relating to emergency procedures and human factors. In terms of leadership, the company has a team of highly experienced individuals in the board of directors that have the required commercial know how needed to steer the company in the right direction. Financially, Qantas is well placed to provide quality service to its customers; the company posted revenues of over $15 million in 2012, and had total assets of over $21 million. The company also has a diversified portfolio, with shares in other airlines and a number of subsidiaries (Qantas annual report, 2012, pp 65-66). In terms of physical resources, the company is well placed, currently the organization has over 147 large carrier aircraft meant for operation and has ordered several more. Qantas also maintains a number of hubs in several cities across the world that facilitates its operations.
Being a member of the one world alliance (One World, 2013) and the leading airline in the country, Qantas strives to maintain the highest possible standards of operations that are aimed at providing the customer with the best quality in terms of service. The company uses the best quality in terms of aircraft, with high quality in flight entertainment that has been tailor made with modern gadgets such as iPads (Flynn, 2012). The airline also provides a variety of cabins in its carriers ranging from first class, business class and economy class. Staff development is another strategy used by Qantas to improve the customer service. The company operates a college dedicated specifically to the training of workers in the air travel industry (Qantas, 2013). The institution is used to sharpen the skills of worker in order to improve service delivery and create an atmosphere of trust with the customers. In fact, it is the airlines focus on improving the skills of its workforce that contributes to it being ranked as one of the safest airlines in the world. Qantas also provides its employees with opportunities for advancement through its talent pipeline program (Qantas, 2013), the program aims to capture the skills of new graduates and at the same time create opportunities for advancement for emerging leaders.
As earlier mentioned, one of the methods that Qantas uses to gather information about the market trends is through customer feedback. Customer feedback in important in the sense that it enables an organization to discover any mistakes that may have occurred and put in place measures to prevent the recurrence of the same. At Qantas, customer feedback is collected by the customer care department. The company encourages customer to provide feedback about their services in its customer charter, in addition to this, the company also maintains an online customer feedback portal that facilitates the collection of important information. As an additional measure aimed at making sure that customers have an opportunity to communicate with the company, Qantas maintains active customer care telephone lines that are open during business hours and that are dedicated to handling customer complaints (Qantas, 2013).The collected feedback forms the basis through which the organization is able to make improvements in its daily operations. Since customer feedback is one of the ways through which a company can detect any mistakes or grounds for improvement that may not otherwise be obvious to internal employees, it should be taken very seriously, and Qantas is no exception in this regard. The company regularly goes through the customer feedback in order to identify any issues that need either clarification or correction and responds to the particular client who raised the issue within a time of five days (Qantas, 2013).
Though Qantas has designed its operations with outmost care so as to prevent the occurrence of any glitches that may affect its operations, such may indeed occur due to unavoidable circumstances. In line with this the company has outlined remedial action that can be taken in its customer service charter; in case of delayed flights, the company informs the customers and makes alternative transportation arrangements or accommodation and meals in case of overnight delays. The company also reschedules any overbooked flights promptly in order to ensure that the customer are not kept waiting. In case of delayed baggage, the company provides the customer with the purchase of basic comfort items while the baggage is tracked down. The airline also provides customer with alternative travel arrangements in the case of a change either by booking them in on the next available flight or transferring them to another flight to the same destination.
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