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Flying The JetBlue Skies

It is not a shock that J.D. Power finds overall customer satisfaction with airlines in 2009 has declined for a third consecutive year to a four-year low. Their studies indicate that the decline is driven by decreased passenger satisfaction with in-flight services, flight crew and costs and fees.

It is a bit surprising to find Alaska Airlines ranked highest in customer satisfaction among traditional network carriers and JetBlue Airways highest among low-cost carriers.

I’m a huge fan of JetBlue and I’m still bummed that they no longer service Nashville. However, I’m a little surprised that they beat out Southwest, an airline that I like and spend a lot of time with these days.

JetBlue performs particularly well in two of seven measures: aircraft and in-flight services. Following JetBlue in the segment rankings are Southwest Airlines and WestJet, in a tie.

Alaska Airlines performs particularly well in five of seven measures: flight crew; aircraft; boarding/ deplaning/baggage; check-in; and reservation.

JetBlue does a lot of things right and I have to believe that in-flight Direct TV is one of the reasons they are number one on the survey. If you have to be delayed, having live satellite is a huge bonus. Plus it mitigates the annoyance of being delayed.

So here’s my plea to number two ranked Southwest, I want my Direct TV.

Fixing Detroit (The Big 3’s Real Problem)

Professor Byron Sharp of the University of South Australia, writing in this month’s Market Research Magazine from the AMA, makes an excellent point about the plight of the Big 3 us automakers.

In the US, customer loyalty rates for all manufactures including the Big 3 is in the 40% to 60% range. For the major domestic and foreign automakers, loyalty rates have remained pretty constant over the past few years at about 50%.

As Professor Sharp points out, the real problem for the Big 3 is acquisition, not loyalty. The lack of acquisition among new car buyers is eroding the market share of the domestic producers. For new auto buyers, the Big 3 are increasingly not considered an option and this is where Toyota, Honda and Nissan are stealing market share.

Customer loyalty and retention is important for all organizations and Targoz Strategic Marketing is skilled at helping organizations understand why customers are loyal and who is at risk.

Truly understanding why customers are loyal to your product or service is exceptionally important to maintaining a healthy brand and organization.

However, loyalty and retention is not a substitute for new business sales. Customer loyalty and retention only brings stability to organizations and creates a foundation for growth. Customer acquisition is the real key to brand growth and this is where Detroit needs to focus its energies.