NWA – Delta Improves Customer Experience. Will it last?

It appears the predictions that a down economy would spur companies to higher levels of customer service are coming true. Recently on a trip to Philadelphia my wife and I were delayed on a NWA flight. Our plane left the gate about an hour late and then we sat on the tarmac for another 45 minutes or so. I didn’t give it a second of thought except to say I was glad there were no thunderstorms between Philly and Minneapolis.  They can do more to wreck a summer traveler’s schedule than just about anything.

A week or so later we each received a nice letter from a customer service executive at NWA. The letters apologized for the delay and informed us we had received an extra 1000 frequent flier miles as a way to compensate us for being inconvenienced.

The first thing I did was hit myself squarely in the stomach. I wanted to make sure I was awake and not dreaming. I was both pleased and astonished. This was uncharted territory for me: A major airline going out of their way to apologize to a customer and offer compensation. And they did it without us saying a thing.

I was thrilled to see this major change in how NWA treats their customers. Maybe it’s the Delta influence. But I’ve been delayed on Delta before and never received such a letter. So I choose to believe companies are changing how they do things. I think they are actually focusing on delivering a better experience to their customers as a way to increase customer loyalty.

Is this a trend? Are other major companies stepping up their efforts to deliver a better experience to their customers? Or is this a fluke? Will it eventually fall by the wayside like so many other tactics tried by big companies?

Have you had similar experiences?  I’d like to hear your thoughts.

The article was written by Kevin Stirtz