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