Kingfisher is recognized as the most luxurious airline in the country. It’s also the only airline to be given a 5 star rating by Skytrax (The official world online aircraft star rating program). With Mr Vijay Mallya at the helm, one can surely expect the ultimate experience in travelling be it domestically or internationally. When Kingfisher bought Air Deccan (now Kingfisher Red), it changed the face of it from a low cost airline to a big budget low cost airline. I have personally travelled by Kingfisher Red twice and have been served really well.
But I guess this time was different. As they say, you remember the good times and the bad times. But the bad times are always much more prominent than the good ones. I had booked my ticket on Kingfisher Red – IT 3149 from Mumbai – Lucknow on 31st October. But was informed by an SMS that the flight was cancelled and I needed to contact the call center. But sadly the calls at the call center were picked up only next morning. Finally after managing to reach them somehow at the call center, talking with my travel agent and the Kingfisher office in Lucknow and also messaging them on Twitter, my flight was finally rescheduled via Delhi with a 7 hours waiting time. You must be wondering all’s well that ends well right? WRONG!
It’s very saddening to note that in a country where aircraft carriers are bursting at their seams to start, expand and grow, the basic tenets of effective customer service aren’t being followed.
YES, Kingfisher has really good service as compared to others.
YES, Kingfisher provides the ultimate luxury in travel.
But does that mean that Kingfisher can rest on its laurels and become complacent? NO…
Ok let’s analyse the step – by – step process of where they went wrong and what they could have done to avoid the situation.
After the flight was cancelled, they just messaged the passenger saying that the flight has been cancelled and he / she needs to call the call center. Is this what one expects from a customer centric airline which calls itself the best in India?
They should have instead called / emailed or probably contacted the said person on social networks and given a personalized response. Probably it may be too difficult. But then this is something which can make a difference between a negative and positive word–of–mouth.
The calls at the call center weren’t picked up. Now this is a problem I have seen in many organizations and companies. If they don’t pick up, then the basic point of such a facility with 4-5 nos. just doesn’t make much sense right? Proper scheduling, managing the peak and load times and queuing of calls in the best possible manner are the most important things to do in such a scenario.
One of the staff members at the Kingfisher call center suggested rescheduling my Delhi – Lucknow flight to 7th November. For a passenger who was travelling on 31st October, that doesn’t make too much sense. It shows a pretty strong lack of customer insight from the organization’s point of view and could have resulted in a strong negative word–of–mouth.
Customer 2.0 is the name of the game in today’s world with more and more people accessing social networking websites. Though Kingfisher has an account (@flykingfisher), my 6-7 tweets elicited following direct message response from them.
understand it was diff getting thru the CC .. However, CC in the best position to assist you with alt. tarvel options..
note: *CC is Call Center
This was when I wasn’t able to reach their call center. Their direct message doesn’t help the customer in any way. And moreover spelling mistakes like ‘tarvel’ instead of travel don’t help either.
I am sure many other airlines would have similar problems and all of you would be ready to list them down. But I specifically pointed out for Kingfisher because this is something that is not expected from them.
It is against their basic positioning strategy of providing the best customer service and luxury to all its ‘guests’ (passengers).
Thoughts Welcome !