When former Continental CEO Gordon Bethune introduced the “Go Forward Plan” in 1995 that helped turn around the airline, he made the following quip: “Get the customer from point A to point B on time, safely and with their underwear every time.”
Results and rewards quickly followed, and within five years Continental went from worst to first in customer air travel, service and satisfaction.
Today, under the leadership of Larry Kellner, Continental remains a customer service-oriented airline and has stayed focused on keeping passenger amenities intact while offering clean, safe and reliable travel.
Robbie Anderson, senior director of Continental’s Cleveland hub, ensures his team delivers on the company’s promises and that travelers receive the full benefit of the airline’s Customer First Plan. The plan contains 12 service commitments was designed to ensure the best possible experience for customers and lays out how Continental will deal with any service failure.
For example, the commitment on delays, cancellations and diversions promises that all passengers will be notified quickly about changes to their travel plans and updated “every 20 minutes, or any time an update is received.”
Anderson says two key items contribute to Continental’s ability to satisfy its customers a rigid hiring process and consistent, ongoing training. Hire the right people, train them well, communicate the company’s mission and let them deliver are the four elements necessary to success, Anderson says.
As a result, Continental has been named one of the 100 best places to work and received high rankings customer service satisfaction surveys.
HOW TO REACH: Continental Airlines, www.continental.com or (800) 523-3272