SkyTeam, the global airline alliance partnering eleven members — including Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Air France, Alitalia, China Southern Airlines, Continental Airlines, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM, Korean Air and Northwest Airlines — and three Associate carriers — Air Europa, Copa Airlines and Kenya Airways — sets itself apart by offering an exclusive experience for all passengers. Issued monthly, SkyTeam NewsFlash provides media with key updates and insights on alliance activities.
SkyTeam, the Customer Service Brand
SkyTeam is built on a strong brand promise, ensuring customers a consistent level of customer service, an extensive network, seamless connections and an overall hassle-free travel experience. Recently, we sat down with the chair of the SkyTeam Advertising/Brand group, Mauricio Parise, also manager of international marketing of Delta Air Lines, to discuss the SkyTeam brand promise.
Q: As a global alliance, how would you describe the SkyTeam brand and what it means for its customers?
A: All 11 of SkyTeam’s individual members carry their own identity, which contributes to the SkyTeam brand. The SkyTeam brand encompasses the SkyTeam «bug,» as we call it, and serves as a quality assurance stamp, reinforcing SkyTeam’s motto of «caring more about you.»
As a prerequisite to joining the alliance, potential members must meet a rigorous list of requirements from a service, operation and safety perspective. As a result, while customers will have various cultural experiences with each member, there is a basic customer promise that is consistent throughout all member airlines.
Q: If there was one thing that you believe contributes to the overall feeling of the alliance, what would that be?
A: A large contributor to the alliance feeling is the airport experience. It is here that passengers see the synergies and integration of the member airlines, particularly the airport co-location. In numerous airports throughout the world, SkyTeam airlines are relocating in airports to be closer to each other, to ensure passengers are able to experience seamless connections between members. While this process takes time, SkyTeam is achieving this in highly trafficked cities, such as London, Sao Paulo and Tokyo. Sharing terminals is also important for airlines to share elite passenger lounges.
It is also at the airport where the customers expect the quality assurance stamp of SkyTeam, including high levels of customer service and integration between connecting airlines. No matter if connecting in Atlanta, Paris or Seoul, the premium business traveler will find comfort in member shared co-locations and lounges that will live up to their expectations.
Q: How do you monitor and measure SkyTeam’s ability to offer brand consistency? What mechanisms for customer feedback do you have in place?
A: As part of our brand promise, SkyTeam works to ensure that each member’s employees are aware of the cultural diversity and knowledgeable about the alliance’s expectations. Frontline employees have the opportunity to serve customers from all corners of the globe. We have instituted the SkyTeam Ambassador Program to continue to educate these frontline employees on the brand promise, policies and products offered by the alliance. The Ambassador Program consists of significant employee engagement and education efforts, including employee meetings, informational materials and training modules to help create a consistent, high-quality SkyTeam experience.
Finally, to track the progress of our brand perception, we implemented a customer satisfaction on-board survey, where each airline collects data on their flights and reports back twice a year. Such data generates a report that is distributed to the entire alliance. This allows us to understand the wants and needs of our customers and continue to meet these demands.
The SkyTeam brand promises to deliver high-quality service to its customers, while offering an extensive network to where passengers want to go. As the customer service focused alliance, SkyTeam continues to «care more about you.»