Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thank you Delta!

This blogger was reading 'The Compliant Customer' while traveling... This article argues that some companies are now following a “customer compliance business model (CCBM)”, in which they "... have replaced the costly “customer-centricity” thinking that is frequently recommended in academic marketing literature with “customer compliance” business models, where customers are expected to comply with a company’s systems, thereby allowing the company to reduce costs and pass on the savings to their customers. In return for compliance with company systems — such as following a company’s automated procedure for ordering via its Web site or interacting with voice recognition software during a phone call — customers are rewarded with low prices and good service ..." So, how might one apply this to the airlines? Are they CCBMs?

Well perhaps, in that they definitely seem to have a process in place that, if followed, should make it easier for the one complying... However, the airlines then undermine their own processes. Consider:

  • This blogger checks his roller bag, passes through security, and boards his flight. On arrival at destination, he de-planes and heads to the baggage pickup to retrieve his checked bag, and is on his way...
  • Others do not check their roller bags, but take them along with them. Result, they "clog" up and slow down the security screening with their roller bags, laptops, baggies with 3-ounce liquids, etc., etc. (note: this blogger's were in his checked luggage). Prior to boarding they get pink tags to check their roller bags, which clearly are too large to go in the overhead storage, especially on the smaller commuter airplanes. On de-planing at the destination they clog up the jet bridge waiting for their bags, and get in this blogger's way as he is trying to get off the plane and to the baggage pickup.
OK, so some correctly follow the airlines' defined business process. In return they get to pay for the privilege ($50 per round trip) while "free riders" not only avoid these charges, but also cause delays for those following the rules. Way to go airlines, undermine your model by making your rules-following customers feel like chumps!

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