The project aims to understand how Emirate airline maintains its high level of customer satisfaction which guarantees its high level of success. This project undertakes its research through an interview with the Emirate airline public relations department in qualitative research design. The research questions include what activities the company undertakes to maintain and improve customer satisfaction, how the company measures customer satisfaction, and how conflicts are handled within the organisation.
Customer satisfaction is vital and highly relevant in the airline industry because it determines the airline’s survival and competitiveness. It is therefore important to understand how the Emirates, has managed to attain its high level of customer satisfaction. The Emirate’s model of customer satisfaction can be adopted by other companies to also further their success.
The report aims to understand how the Emirates Airlines, a quality-oriented organisation, attains its high level of customer satisfaction. It also aims to find out what activities the company undertakes to maintain and improve customer satisfaction. The measure of the customer satisfaction will also be studied and how the company reacts to the measurements. Finally, the report aims to find out how the Emirates Airline solves conflicts between employees, management, and the customers.
Customer satisfaction has become a key factor in the achievement of organisational goals and is thus considered as a possible standard of excellence for any given company. Extreme satisfaction of the customers creates brand loyalty increasing the firm’s profitability (Hussain, Al Nasser, and Hussain 2015).
The service quality procedure commonly used to evaluate a service is the SERVQUAL, containing five dimensions including responsiveness, reliability, assurance, empathy, and tangibles. It has however been recommended that two more dimensions, safety and security as well as communication to be added to suit the airline quality model (Chou, Liu, Huang, Yih, and Han 2011).
The Emirates is an airline, founded in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in the Middle East. The airline was started in 1985 and has risen to become a great success story, and is the largest airline in the Middle East (CITE). The airline has the world’s biggest fleet of airbuses A380s and Boeing 777s which ensures customer comfort. The airline is a subsidiary of the Emirates Group, a company owned by the Government of Dubai. Emirates airline has four subsidiaries, and most of its employees include the cabin crew, flight deck crew, engineers, and others. The airline flies to 142 destinations across six continents hence attracting a wide customer base (Emirates 2018).
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The interview involved the public relations department of the Emirates airlines. The purpose of the interview was communicated, which was primarily to understand how the airline manages to attain such a high level of customer satisfaction. It was explained that the interview was completely voluntary and that the issues of confidentiality would be observed. This included an explanation of who would get access to the interview information and how that it would be used purely for academic purposes. Also, the interviewee was assured that the information would be presented without any bias. The interview structure involved open-ended questions which were recorded through a tape recorder which would ensure that no information was forgotten.
Emirates high level of customer satisfaction is because that the company places its customers at the heart of everything that they do. At every touch point and every day, the company puts its best effort to ensure that they deliver the best experience possible to their customers. To improve the customer satisfaction, the company continually invests in both the products and services, both on the ground and in the air such as the introduction of the A380 fleet. The airline is also unbeaten in services such as internet connectivity and entertainment with many TV channels being offered in various languages. When it comes to customer complaints and feedback, the company always listens carefully to the customers. The Emirates Airlines is also constantly challenging itself to do even better and even exceed expectations (Emirates PR 2018).
The measure of customer satisfaction in the Emirates airlines involves analysing the customer experience, throughout the whole flying process. This includes flight booking, check-in, baggage drop, boarding, in-flight services including food and beverage, plane conditions, entertainment, and shopping, disembarking, and finally the final baggage claim. These processes are assessed through the SERVQUAL procedure which has been modified to suit to the specific needs of an airline. SERVQUAL has six different dimensions. These are reliability, responsiveness, tangibility, assurance, communications, and safety and security. These six factors make up service quality in an airline. The overall score is given as a percentage to depict the measure of customer satisfaction. The Emirates reacts against the measurement by frequently improving on the areas that are lacking (Emirates PR 2018).
How the Emirates manage challenges and difficulties when conflict takes place between employees, management/organisation, and customers
The Emirates airline has a well-coordinated human resource office that moves swiftly to solve any conflicts between employees or management. This is backed by a detailed employee handbook that outlines various case scenarios. Also, the human resource department is not biased but instead takes time to listen to both sides and identify the actual problem. The parties in dispute then find a solution together to end the conflict. Customer conflicts are handled through a customer service department that receives and listens to any customer complaints and swiftly acts upon them to give effective feedback. There is, however, a gap in the channels of communication that exist. The airline should add more of these channels including direct lines to the supervisors who can then handle any arising conflicts (Emirates PR 2018).
The Emirates airline is a success story in the airline industry. Its success is attributed to the practice of placing their customers at the heart of everything that they do. This involves providing quality Service, exceeding the customer expectations, effective handling of customer complaints and frequently reinventing to stay at the top of the game. This confirms the well-known fact that customer satisfaction is the key to the success of any given company.
Emirates customer satisfaction is mainly as a result of their spacious aircraft and fulfilling entertainment. However, many complaints have been lodged regarding the flight boarding stage whereby many conflicts do emerge. Many customers have reported problems with boarding their flights that were not handled efficiently and in a friendly manner. Furthermore, the management does not follow up on any reimbursement claims arising from any misunderstandings between the employees and the customers. It is therefore recommended that the airline should place more effort at the boarding stage to ensure that those customer complaints are sorted promptly. This will go even further to ensure the success of the company.
Chou, C.C., Liu, L.J., Huang, S.F., Yih, J.M. and Han, T.C., 2011. An evaluation of airline service quality using the fuzzy weighted SERVQUAL method. Applied Soft Computing, 11(2), pp.2117-2128.
Emirates, 2018. The Emirates Group. Accessed on 2018/03/11 from https://www.emirates.com/us/english/about-us/
Emirates PR, 2018. Interview.
Hussain, R., Al Nasser, A. and Hussain, Y.K., 2015. Service quality and customer satisfaction of a UAE-based airline: An empirical investigation. Journal of Air Transport Management, 42, pp.167-175.
- Thank you for agreeing to help us with this research project
- The interview should take about 45 minutes.
- Let me tell you a little bit about this project: We aim to research on how your company manages to attain high levels of customer satisfaction and we have prepared several questions for you to answer.
- Please brief us on the Emirates airline background, main customers and its structure.
- What activities do you conduct to maintain and improve customer satisfaction?
- How do you measure customer satisfaction? How do you react against those measurements?
- How do you manage challenges and difficulties when conflict takes place between employees, management/organization and customers?
- Before we wrap things up and talk about next steps, are there any last comments you have regarding this area of research?
- Thank you for your participation. We look forward to getting your feedback on the survey. And, please do not hesitate to call or e-mail should you think of additional areas that we should include or if you have any questions.
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