According to Gartner, by 2016, 89% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience. That means that if you aren’t already investing in the tools you need to produce an excellent customer experience, you are rapidly falling behind.
Looking for some tips on how to give your business that extra push into customer service excellence? Try emulating Virgin America’s fantastic example of customer-centricity. The company’s extraordinary focus on making things easier, more pleasant, and more fun for its customers are what has earned it the Glance Customer Service Excellence Award.
Making flying – and customer experience – good
According to its website, “Virgin America is a California-based airline that is on a mission to make flying good again, with brand new planes, attractive fares, top-notch service, and a host of fun, innovative amenities that are reinventing domestic air travel.”
Richard Branson created the company because he wanted to take air travel back to a time when airlines cared more about the customer than the bottom line. His success continued success in achieving that goal is reflected in the fact that Virgin America was named the World’s Best Domestic Airline according to Travel + Leisure – for the eighth year in a row. In order to decide which company should receive that award, the publication polled its readers for the results, asking for ratings based on customer service among other criteria.
As stated in Virgin America’s recent press release, “Earning the ‘Top Domestic Airline’ distinction in the Travel + Leisure for the eighth consecutive year is a tremendous honor – and reflects our continued commitment to delivering a ‘guest-centric’ travel experience on every flight through better design, technology and topnotch service,” said David Cush, Virgin America President and CEO.
When you take a look at the Virgin America website, it’s clear why they are able to continue to stay high in the ratings.
Clean, clear, concise, customer-centric
Virgin America’s website features a clean look, with cool purples and reds as its main colors (similar to those you will find inside and outside of the company’s airplanes). Whether you are looking to book a flight, check in, or manage your account, you can quickly get to where you want to go.
What’s more, the website is set up so that the most frequently asked question (“Where would you like to go?”) is at the top of the home page. That makes for a great customer experience! Each section following that question provides a little more detail, until you get to the bottom of the page where you can select from a variety of options such as corporate rewards, upgrades, and more.
The large font, concise text, and clear graphics make the website easy to both read and navigate. Moreover, the bright colors and cute pictures expand on Virgin America’s reputation for fun with a slight twist of humor.
As you navigate around the site, you will see that the self-help portion is quite extensive. You can find anything from information about the cabins, flight updates and food selection to booking hotels, cars, and even vacation packages to fee structures, rewards points, and deals. The company’s blog even provides fun polls and the latest social media updates, as well as informative updates about the company, its founder, credit card offers, and more.
Contacting customer support
Virgin America’s website could stand to have the assisted help section of its website a little more accessible (say at the top of the website instead of the bottom). However, as long as you’re willing to scroll to the bottom of any page, you can always click on the “Contact Us/FAQ” link to get access a wealth of information.
The assisted help page provides several lists of frequently asked questions (FAQs) in addition to options to contact an agent with questions.
You can easily contact Virgin America’s contact center via phone, email, social media, or chat. Moreover, Virgin America is very responsive, often replying within moments via social media at a minimum. Agents’ attitudes are very friendly, upbeat, and helpful, as you might expect from such a customer-oriented business.
Making travel fun
Travel can be stressful, from making the initial reservations through flying and follow-up. Yet Virgin America goes out of its way to make customer experience excellent. With self-service and assisted service options that instantly alleviate frustration, travel becomes fun – as it should be.
In fact, Virgin America is selling less of a product (i.e., a plane ticket) and more of an experience – a happy, playful, relaxing experience. Why is that distinction important? Well, when you know you’re going to have a great experience, you may anticipate it for days, weeks, or even months. Then, you have the wonderful experience itself. Finally, once the experience is finished, you will have memories that will last forever, making you even more excited to have the next experience.
And that, folks, is what is at the heart of building a true lifelong customer.
Ready to learn more tips on how to improve customer service? Download the free eBook: Counting the Customer: The Complete Guide to Dynamite Customer Care.
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About Glance Networks
Glance helps enterprise organizations create the ultimate customer experience with smart, omni-channel visual engagement solutions based around integrated cobrowse, screen share, and one-way agent video. We are one of the world’s simplest, most reliable and secure platforms that enable companies to see, show and share anything online, creating a frictionless path to great experiences in sales, support and customer service. The result is improved customer satisfaction and loyalty, increased revenue growth and operational savings. From financial services and healthcare to retail and travel and leisure, even the most advanced technology and SaaS organizations – we transform the customer experience for today’s business. Learn More »