Fly the Friendlier Skies

Celebrated restaurateur Danny Meyer’s firm, Hospitality Quotient, has Delta as a major client—but he isn’t improving the food. The business is teaching customer service. Can he have much success in the airline industry, where low fares dominate?

What travel execs think*

52% Proportion who believe customers are willing to pay more for a great "experience"

23% Estimated annual revenue lost because of poor customer service

15% Estimated amount by which customer-service-related spending will increase in the next two years

What travelers think**

49% Proportion who say that value for money is "very important" when choosing an airline

27% Proportion who say that airlines’ efforts to enhance the customer experience are "very important"

92% Proportion who are moderately to very satisfied with airlines’ efforts to enhance the customer experience

Delta is now data: Although there are plenty of anecdotes out there, "the definite link between hospitality and financial performance remains an unanswered research question," says Chekitan Dev, a services marketing professor at the Cornell Hotel School.

*Data from a 2013 Oracle study
**Data from a 2013 Deloitte study

[Illustration by David Schwen]

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