Michael O’Leary, Ryanairs love him or hate him CEO, was on good form on Monday’s BBC Breakfast. Defending accusations of hidden charges, he said Ryanair were simply changing customer’s behaviours. They were getting passengers to act in such a way that Ryanair could continue to provide an average fair of less than £40.
Now whatever you think of Ryanair – you have to admit they are pretty good at changing the behaviours and expectations of customers.
Even if it changes to “there’s no way I’ll ever fly with Ryanair again”.
From penalties / price incentives for baggage allowances – to suggesting one toilet being shared by 195 passengers and six crew is a good way to cut costs – they set a tone in which the customer is crystal clear what they are getting.
One crucial element of our new Customer Deal is about setting out really clearly what our customer can expect of us and what we should expect of them.
This involved developing a “reasonableness” test. What would the average customer think was a fair deal?
To do this we worked with groups of customers to develop a set of expectations for continued access to our products and services. And we discussed the circumstances where service access might be restricted if a customer didn’t play ball. We even talked about potential “deal breakers” – the circumstances when we might have to say this is not a relationship that is going to work and we don’t want your custom anymore. We tested the ideas in meetings but also crowd sourced opinion online.
The results were interesting.
Customers were far more exacting in their standards and expectations than we were as a business. What was a moral dilemma for us was common sense to them.
Our Deal sets out this new service proposition – and will be reviewed at certain points in the customer relationship.
The new behaviours and expectations we want to push?
- Paperless Service – Digital by Default
- Proactive Product Care and Improvement – by us and by the Customer
- Customer visibility – someone we do not have to chase after
- Socially Connected – gives something back to the neighbourhoods and communities where they live
But rather than Michael O’Leary’s “If you don’t it like go elsewhere”, we’ll be supporting the customer with some new products, interventions and communications.
During the course of the project this blog will spend more time explaining them in detail.