American Airlines is going all plastic onboard, following the example set by Southwest in 2008.
John Tiliacos, American's managing director of onboard products explains
"From our perspective and from our customers' perspective, it makes transactions smoother for both our customers and flight attendants," he said. "Flight attendants in particular don't have to have correct change when the customer doesn't have the exact amount."
Tiliacos said American believes the change will potentially bring in more revenue, and flight attendants may be able to earn more commissions by selling food on board.
"Flight attendants will print out receipts when requested, a boon for business travelers who need to put in for reimbursement of their expenses. "
This is a fairly important Moment of Truth, so let's examine it.
The 'old' process created lots of work for American, the reconciliation of cash, the processing of the inventory, the interaction with customers and obtaining the correct amount and providing the necessary change, the security of the cash collected, the training of the staff, the hand over of the cash in the airport and so on.
All these sub processes carry a cost, slow things down and create a messy customer interaction. From a customer point of view there are issues related to carrying 'change' (notes or coins, what about security, is it in the bag above, or one of the pockets in my jacket?) and potential inconvenience with other passengers.
This Moment of Truth (MOT) is the Cause of Work, and also a Point of Failure (within the CEMMethod we explicitly identify those) however we can not easily remove this MOT. We can however significantly improve it. Moving to 'plastic only' massively simplifies the interaction, reduces costs and improves service.
The Successful Customer Outcome is an easier target to hit everytime, as we reduce the number of internal handoffs and simplify the associated business rules.
A minority of customers may argue that this reduces customer choice, and they would be correct, however the cost of providing that choice for less than 20% of cash paying passengers is a cost everyone else has to bear in the ticket price. By creating a cleaner 'expectation' the service can be optimised further by offering, say, big ticket items, tracking buyer behaviour (much easier now) and further improving the technology to provide at the MOT related operational information (to encourage more purchases, build affinity, add value to the experience etc.).
This is a fine example of how existing processes can be transformed to 'outside-in' to win that triple crown (simultaneously reducing costs, enhancing service and ultimately improving revenue).
From a customer perspective you are making my life easier, simpler and more successful.
Well done American!
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