Johanna Partti // October 31 2018

Customer is the king but staff is the queen

Walt Disney has said that “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it takes people to make the dream a reality”. Disneyland is often a model example in the customer experience related literature and certainly not without a reason. The success concept of Disneyland is considered a benchmark for a strong and consistent customer experience. In recent years, the development and management of customer experience has gained new opportunities through continuously evolving analytics and customer research, and they play a strong role in continuous development. Deep customer understanding is a starting point for all the development of customer experience and the interaction with customers provides an excellent basis for continuous improvement of operation. In Finnair we conduct a continuous dialogue with our customers through various tools, and one of my personal favorite is the customer community. I have discussed there with our customers about different concepts in development and have directly asked our customers opinion about the new planned product or service in the early stages of the development path. This is how our customers have been able to directly influence the development of our products and services. Studies made in the customer community have strongly lead the way of development and has influenced the decision-making process. For example, now, in the autumn, we have developed together with the pilots, their role in improving the customer experience, and many of the development ideas in this regard have come from our customers in the study made in customer community.

Dialogue with customers and various studies are one of the most important ways to gather information to improve customer experience. At the same time, I also think that it is equally important that the staff is constantly listened, things are developed together, and the entire organization is committed to the customer experience. The creation of a customer-centric culture and the commitment of the entire organization to customer experience will be a combination of developing together and continuous interaction, and it must be continually in the agenda of customer experience management.

We involve staff to develop the customer experience in many ways, including through various workshops, surveys for staff, and conversations in different internal channels. The staff has also been able to design and implement thematic flights in the way they want. This creates a culture of doing together, where the customer is strongly at the center of everything.

To help the entire staff to understand what is tried to achieve, it would be good to describe the customer experience through a vision that tells what kind of experience you want to offer. A good customer experience vision provides a way for the entire company to implement and develop a holistic customer experience. In the vision it is also good to internally determine whether you want to offer top-end service or be a strong mid-level service company in your own industry? This determination of level of experience also helps the company’s management to position the customer experience offered by the company in relation to its competitors and to develop the experience and service environment accordingly.

Developing customer experience together with staff and customers is a constant work in everyday life. Continuous challenging of your own activities, together with customers and staff, is the only way to create value for customers through a customer experience that does not only make customers return, but also ensures that the customer relationship remains strong and long term.

Wishing everyone a lovely week, 

Johanna Partti, Customer Experience Development Consultant at Finnair

By Johanna Partti