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Thursday, September 01, 2016

Think like a customer

Most of us are way too young to remember that there was a day when the person who received a letter paid for the postage.  Or that the person receiving a cell phone call paid for the minutes, as well as the person placing the call.

Until today, when I saw my daughter's boarding pass for her flight tonight on AA, I didn't realize that their boarding pass now has the arrival time information and not just the departure information.


For many years, you would get on a plane and have to ask the person next to you "do you know when we get in?"   I know you remember those days.

I can't tell you when the change occurred, as in the past few years I have [thankfully] travelled less and less, so pardon me for just realizing it today.  

It makes total sense to eliminate those steps that we put our customers through that are unnecessary.

It is important to note that technology wasn't the barrier here.  The Passenger Name Record (PNR) has always had the departure and arrival times in it.  So there was no reason why the boarding pass didn't always have this info, other than the fact that it was after all a "boarding pass".

But one day, someone somewhere at AA, decided to think like a customer and ask what questions that they were having to ask that they could take care of by being proactive.

If you are an airline employee reading this, I hope you are checking your own boarding pass to see if you have made that simple, customer-centric shift.

If you are in another business, think about what your customers still have to figure out manually in order to do business with you.

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